Now that the dust is settling at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas after a week of Celebrating the Moviegoing Experience at CinemaCon 2012, it’s time to reminisce about the highlights of the second installment of the recently rebranded biggest Industry Event of the Year. For many attendees, the back-to-back events created a rapid fire revolving door of exciting Studio presentations, seminars, meetings and parties that left them dizzy with excitement.
Olson Visual is the official graphics provider for CinemaCon and as such, printed and installed most of the signage you saw at CinemaCon. All the elevator doors, escalator walls, floors, mirrors and walls were decorated with graphics printed by Olson Visual. Our crew started installing the graphics the weekend before CinemaCon and worked every day seamlessly during the convention changing out various graphics for each event.
Dreamworks Animation Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg paying tribute to THE DICTATOR Sacha Baron Cohen
Monday, April 23rd was kicked off with the long standing tradition of the Al Lapidus Memorial Golf Tournament. Al Lapidus was a pioneer in the theatre concession business. His popcorn was sold in most movie theatres for decades which earned him the name of “The Popcorn King”. The first evening event of CinemaCon 2012 was a presentation by Paramount Pictures which included exclusive sneak previews of the Studio’s upcoming releases and special award presentations for “Action Star of the Decade” to Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and the “CinemaCon Triumph Award” to the Studio’s Jim Tharp. Especially entertaining and nostalgic was the special clip celebrating Paramount’s 100th Anniversary. Especially outrageous was the appearance of Sacha Baron Cohen in full character from THE DICTATOR who did a 5 minute stand-up routine which had the audience rolling in the aisles and putting their hands to their mouths in shock. Paramount ended the evening by co-hosting the Opening Night Dinner Reception.
Tuesday, April 24 was highlighted by “The State of the Industry: Past, Present and Future” by NATO President & CEO John Fithian and MPAA Chairman & CEO Senator Chris Dodd and a presentation by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Warner Bros. Pictures presentation included trailers and clips from “Dark Shadows” with appearances by director Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp, “The Dark Knight Rises” with an appearance from the film’s director Chris Nolan, “Rock Of Ages” with an appearance from its director Adam Shankman and a filmed message from “The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson. The afternoon saw a presentation by the Walt Disney Studios which featured clips from “Frankenweenie” with an appearance by its director Tim Burton, an appearance by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Johnny Depp discussing “The Lone Ranger”, an appearance by Jennifer Garner talking about her unique film “The Odd Life Of Timothy Green”, stars Mila Kunis and James Franco talking about their movie “Oz The Great And Powerful”, a special appearance by Muppets icons Kermit and Miss Piggy discussing their next movie, actor John C. Reilly discussing his film “Wreck-it-Ralph” and the first 6 minutes of “Brave” . The evening concluded with a special screening of Lionsgate’s upcoming comedy “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”.
Wednesday, April 25 included a very informative presentation about laser light projection and film piracy. This was followed by an extremely enjoyable Filmmakers Lunch and Panel Discussion with directors Martin Scorsese and Ang Lee regarding 3D. The afternoon was reserved for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s presentation which consisted of an exciting sizzle reel featuring “The Amazing Spider-Man”, the “Total Recall” reboot, “Looper” starring Bruce Willis, “Sparkle” featuring the late Whitney Houston’s last acting performance, “Men In Black 3” and the next James Bond installment “Skyfall”. The evening concluded with the traditional 2012 Pioneer of the Year Dinner honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg hosted by Jack Black with special guests Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas.
Thursday, April 26, the last day of CinemaCon 2012, began with a presentaion by Twentieth Century Fox consisting of an exciting sizzle reel of clips from Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, “Neighborhood Watch” starring Ben Stiller, “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” Dog Days”, action director Luc Besson”s “Taken 2” and “Parental Guidance” starring Billhy Crystal and Bette Midler. Then Universal took center stage with their presentation which included a special reel celebrating their 100th Anniversary and star-studded appearances by Charlize Theron, who had the audience in stitches talking about “Snow White and the Huntsman”, actor Jeremy Renner discussing his new role in “The Bourne Legacy”, director Oliver Stone on-stage with his stars John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Taylor Kitsch discussing their film “Savages”, director Seth MacFarlane talking about his hilarious movie “Ted” starring Mark Wahlberg and his teddy bear and comedy director Judd Apatow talking about his latest laffer “This Is 40”. Universal also showed a glimpse of “Oblivion” starring Tom Cruise and “Les Miserables” starring Hugh Jackman. The evening ended with the traditional CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards presented by Coca Cola, hosted by Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood”. Award winners included Sylvester Stallone receiving the Career Achievement Award, Taylor Kitsch receiving the Male Star of Tomorrow Award, Chloe Grace Moretz receiving the Female Star of Tomorrow Award, Diego Boneta receiving the Rising Star of 2012 Award, Josh Hutcherson receiving the Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award, Anna Faris receiving the Comedy Star of the Year Award, Charlize Theron receiving the Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film Award, Judd Apatow receiving the Award of Excellence in Filmmaking, Michelle Pfeiffer receiving the Cinema Icon Award, Jennifer Garner receiving the Female Star of the Year Award and Jeremy Renner receiving the Male Star of the Year Award. The after party featured entertainment by the cast of “Jersey Boys”.
What a week it was, indeed! It’s such an amazing thrill to be a part of such an iconic event as CinemaCon. Congratulations to NATO’s Mitch Neuhauser and his amazing team for making CinemaCon 2012 the great success that it was. As always, each of us take away our own “special moments” from the event. For me, I only wish I had the time to go to ALL of the events at CinemaCon. But at the end of the day, it’s the presentations by the major Studios that people get so excited about and rightly so. The Movies are this industry’s lifeblood and legacy and there is no other art form and industry in this world that has the power that The Movies have.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR AT CinemaCon 2013 AS WE CONTINUE “CELEBRATING THE MOVIE GOING EXPERIENCE”!