CinemaCon 2024 continues in Las Vegas, with news and updates on upcoming films from major studios. Here’s everything that happened during the Universal and Focus Features presentation today.

Will McIntosh, President of Fandango, kicked off the panel with a reel of classic Universal films. Then, Jim Orr, President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution for Universal Pictures, took to the stage to discuss the studio’s recent accomplishments at the box office. He shared a video message from director Christopher Nolan about Oppenheimer, one of Universal’s biggest films of 2023. Veronika Kwan Vandenberg joined the stage to discuss Universal’s international success as well.

Orr went on to note that 2024 marks a big year for Universal. They’re set to release 20 films, more than any other studio. In addition, Orr noted that 75% of those films are original concepts. Of the studio’s existing IP, Orr mentioned the upcoming fourth Bridget Jones feature, Mad About the Boy, which will see original cast members return for a new story on Valentine’s Day 2025.

Illumination Updates – Super Mario & Despicable Me

Despicable Me 4

At this point, Chris Meledandri emerged to discuss upcoming projects at animation studio Illumination. This includes two big sequels: the follow-up to the recent Super Mario Bros. movie, set for April 2026, and the fourth Despicable Me film.

Meledandri shared footage from Despicable Me 4 with the CinemaCon audience. The footage expanded on the content teased in the film’s trailer, showing a cute heist sequence of Gru and the gang trying to steal a honey badger in a castle. The feature will premiere this summer on July 3.

Twisters (July 19)

After the Illumination presentation, director Lee Isaac Chung took the stage to talk Twisters. Chung said he was 16 when the original Twister premiered. He grew up in Arkansas, experiencing real tornadoes, and wanted the film to be as real as possible. He even used real storm chasers to get footage for the film.

Chung was joined on stage by Twisters stars Glenn Powell, Anthony Ramos, and Daisy Edgar-Jones. The actors confessed they assumed they’d be filming on a soundstage, and instead ended up sweating in the real Midwestern heat. And apparently tormenting the actors didn’t stop during filming, because next the panel broke out some big fans to aim at Powell and Ramos, who got swept up in a “storm” of leaves (and an inflatable cow) on stage.

Finally, the panel revealed a work in progress reel, which showcased twin tornadoes combining into one giant tornado.

Twisters premieres in theaters July 19.

Universal Horror – Five Nights at Freddy’s, M3GAN, Wolf Man, & Speak No Evil

Five Nights at Freddy's

Shortly after, Universal shifted to discuss their upcoming horror projects. Major features down the line (set for 2025 release) include a Five Nights at Freddy’s sequel and a M3GAN sequel. Universal revealed a brief clip teasing Wolf Man, directed by Invisible Man writer Leigh Whannell. The film will debut in January 2025.

Then, director James Watkins took the stage to discuss Speak No Evil. The project remakes the 2022 Dutch film and stars James McAvoy. CinemaCon attendees also got to see the first trailer, which you can now watch online. Speak No Evil premieres September 13.

Focus Features – Back to Black, The Bikeriders, Conclave, & Nosferatu

Austin Butler as Benny in 20th Century Studios' The Bikeriders

Following Universal’s horror presentation, Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski took the stage. He shared trailers for two of the studio’s upcoming features: Back to Black, the Amy Winehouse biopic; and The Bikeriders, a drama about a Midwestern motorcycle club. Back to Black premieres May 17, with The Bikeriders arriving a month later on June 21.

Next, the panel revealed new footage for upcoming films, playing trailers for Conclave and Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu.

Conclave, Edward Berger’s follow up to his Oscar-winning film All Quiet on the Western Front, explores the Machiavellian power struggle at the top of the world’s most powerful and secretive organization—the Roman Catholic Church. The film follows Cardinal Lawrence (Ralph Fiennes), tasked with running the covert process of selecting a new Pope after the previous Pope’s unexpected death. As the Catholic Church’s most powerful leaders gather from around the world for this high stakes contest, the most ambitious among them make their maneuvers and Lawrence uncovers a series of secrets that could test the boundaries of his faith and shake the foundations of the Church.

Conclave begins a limited theatrical release November 1, followed by an expanded release November 8.

Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu is a gothic tale of obsession between a haunted young woman and the terrifying vampire infatuated with her, causing untold horror in its wake. The film’s cast includes Bill Skarsgård, Nicholas Hoult, Lily-Rose Depp, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emma Corrin, Ralph Ineson, Simon McBurney, and Willem Dafoe. CinemaCon attendees got a closer look at the film with the trailer, but it cleverly kept its vampire mostly hidden in the dark.

Nosferatu premieres in theaters December 25.

DreamWorks Update – The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot

Next, DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn took the stage. She brought out director Chris Sanders and star Lupita Nyong’o to showcase new footage from their upcoming feature The Wild Robot. The story adapts Peter Brown’s bestselling novel, and the film’s animation draws inspiration from both classic Disney and Studio Ghibli features. The Wild Robot premieres September 20.

Wicked Part One (November 27)

Universal closed out the presentation with its highly anticipated feature adaptation of the stage musical Wicked. Theater seats at CinemaCon were adorned with white tulips, which lit up green and pink once the presentation began. Then, the great and powerful Oz spoke to the crowd… revealing Jeff Goldblum himself! Goldblum joked that he’s been a fly and almost eaten by a dinosaur, but he’s never done a film like this before. He described the experience as “dreamy.”

Next, Broadway producer Marc Platt and director Jon Chu joined Goldblum on stage. They described recently wrapping production on the film. Next on stage, cast members Jonathan Bailey (Fiyero) and Michelle Yeoh (Madame Morrible). Finally, after discussing the importance of casting, particularly for Elphaba and Glinda, they brought out the women themselves: Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande. (And yes, they were dressed in green and pink, respectively.)

Grande said it was her dream to play Glinda since she was 10 years old (joking that was five years ago). The cast then revealed an exclusive look at the film.

Wicked will debut as two films, with the first part arriving November 27. The second will arrive a year later, November 2025.

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