We’re sending out this week’s newsletter later than our usual Wednesday publication schedule because we were attending CinemaCon in Las Vegas since last Sunday and wanted to bring you all the highlights. Trying to capture all the ceremonies, industry panels, studio presentations and overall sense of this year’s conference in our weekly Marquee editorial is a daunting task. Unlike last year’s pandemic suppressed event, which saw a fraction of the attendance, CinemaCon 2022 was a return to form in so many ways.
Rolando B. Rodriguez, Chairman of the National Association of Theatre Owners and CEO of Marcus Theatres, set the tone and theme of this year’s event when he began the week by having attendees chant “We are back” before the state of the industry presentation from the Motion Picture Association and NATO. The sentiment seemed to be genuine and shared by both exhibitors and distributors at CinemaCon. Unlike last year’s gathering, when the big question was whether day-and-date theatrical releases would become the norm, NATO President and CEO John Fithian declared the simultaneous release strategy officially dead. It helped that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav stated that he sees no need “to really collapse the entire motion picture business on streaming” and IMAX CEO categorized day-and-date releases as “an experiment that’s over.”
This might be why all five major studios, Lionsgate and Neon brought their upcoming release slates to the Coliseum at Caesars Palace and said time and again that their titles would be shown in movie theatres first. A specific release window length was never mentioned, but it was a far cry from last year when the only sure thing was uncertainty over every aspect of the business. Some studios, such as Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures brought entire movies to show.
We’re asked not to discuss the films shown during CinemaCon, though we’re probably safe in telling theatre operators to stock up on popcorn for the release of “Top Gun: Maverick.” The movie is everything audiences could want and it hits all the right notes. It was worth the wait and all the rescheduling. Pixar’s “Lightyear” also looks to be a big hit based on the 30 minutes shown during the convention. And we haven’t even touched on the “Avatar” sequels. Everything looked amazing on the Coliseum screen where it was projected in Dolby Vision.
Against that backdrop the trade show was buzzing, especially for concessions, food and beverage vendors, but also for equipment manufacturers. The F&B companies have admitted business is picking up an headed toward 2019 numbers. The same goes for technology providers who report backlogs on orders due to supply chain constraints. For the foreseeable future, the wait times on new equipment could be measured in months and financial quarters, rather than weeks.
It’s easy to see why so many of these suppliers and service providers kept the CJ Wire humming this week with loads of announcements, from Arts Alliance Media announcing their vision for the future and new agreements to Christie purchasing Cinergy software from DCIP to Fandango signing new exhibitors to IMAX expanding in Japan. Harkness Screens used CinemaCon to produce their own video featuring yours truly.
We’ll be publishing our coverage of this year’s CinemaCon over the next days and weeks, so keep an eye out for the stories. In the meantime we are busy cutting together a video of the interviews we conducted during the show with many of the prominent companies that were present in Vegas. Look for it sometime next week. Speaking of which, be sure to register for the CJ Cinema Summit on 5 May, when our UK team will be live at Twickenham Film Studios in London.
Daniels and the Music of Everything Everywhere All at Once Part 2 | Sound + Image Lab
This episode is part two (of two) of our exclusive, in-person interview with the filmmakers; directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, sound designer and sound effects editor, Andrew Twite, and the re-recording mixer and sound supervisor, Brent Kiser.
Celluloid Junkie is the leading online resource dedicated to the global film and cinema business. The Marquee is our newsletter focused on motion picture exhibition; keeping industry professionals informed of important news, the latest trends and insightful analysis