CinemaCon 2015 was another big spectacle for Hollywood to pat itself on the back and show off some fancy new trailers and gadgets. The Las Vegas convention brings together all the major Hollywood studios and gives them a stage to show off their upcoming releases and from that perspective one thing was made abundantly clear this year - Disney is king and everyone else is pretty much crossing their fingers and hoping that they can snag a few minutes of sun from under the huge shadow the studio is casting.
The Big Tomorrowland Reveal
For the most part, the question seems to simply be, which Disney movie will come out on top this year. Since the company now owns Marvel Studios and LucasArts, they could ostensibly flip a coin as to whether The Avengers: Age of Ultron or Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens will bring in the best box office receipts. But there may be a dark horse in the running over at Disney as few movies have made the impression that the new Tomorrowland trailer has made.
The new Tomorrowland trailer debuted at the Las Vegas studio gathering and quickly made it to You Tube where you can watch the insane spectacle of robots chasing down George Clooney and Britt Robertson again and again. While previous Tomorrowland teasers and trailers have been going the mysterious route and building anticipation, the new trailer is full-on action spectacle.
It's almost enough to make you think that Tomorrowland could be the surprise action blockbuster of the year. As the trailer reminds us, director Brad Bird is no slouch when it comes to creating amazingly elaborate and exciting action sequences. His turn at the wheel with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was the highlight of that series and that I'm sure after watching this clip, Paramount was being thankful that their new Mission Impossible movie wasn't going up against this. This trailer has completely turned me around like nothing else - 9.5!
Pixar's 2015 Comeback!
Of course, Brad Bird is probably still best known for his Pixar masterpieces The Incredibles and Ratatouille. After a bit of a dry spell for Pixar over the past couple years - the animation geniuses took the stage at CinemaCon to show off their 2015 comeback kids of Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. Inside Out director Pete Doctor introduced a great new trailer for Inside Out and the lucky attendee's were also able to see some early footage for The Good Dinosaur.
One of the interesting tech announcements to come out of CinemaCon 2015 is the new Dolby Vision news - with Tomorrowland and Inside Out being the first two movies to be shown in theaters using the new enhanced high definition format. It's part of a whole Dolby Cinema system that will be making its way into theaters over the next couple years. The newest Star Wars Episode 7 trailer received a Dolby Vision makeover at CinemaCon and received it's first movie theater screening at the convention.
Ant-Man & Spider-Man
Of course, Marvel plays a big part in the grand movie world dominating plan that Disney unveiled at CinemaCon. With Avengers: Age of Ultron already screening in some parts of the world, Disney showed off the new Ant-Man trailer which has been doing a great job of getting fans back on board with the superhero comedy. Around the same time, Joss Whedon continued to make his press junket rounds and let folks know that Edgar Wright's Ant-Man script was the best Marvel movie script he'd read. Yes, it definitely looks like Whedon is already eyeing the exit door for when his Marvel contract expires this year.
Sony tried their best to steal a bit of the Disney thunder by announcing their intentions to have an animated Spider-Man movie made for release in 2018 with the Lego Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Christopher Miller writing and directing. Not to be overshadowed by their Spider-Man cohorts, Disney immediately leaked their shortlist for the live action Spider-Man movie and revealed that the frontrunners are: Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Timothee Chalamet (the kid from Interstellar), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Liam James (The Way, Way Back) and Natt Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars). Word on the web has Asa Butterfield as current projected front-runner.
Disney Plans The Great Movie Takeover
Of course with CinemaCon coming hot on the heels of Star Wars Celebration, there wasn't much in the way of news Disney could give on that front that hasn't already been revealed. At least they have a full name now for Star Wars Anthology: Rouge One to put on their big board of upcoming releases. But they had plenty of other movies to pimp out during the big convention.
Outside of the Marvel movies and Star Wars movies, Disney has two new Steven Spielberg films - Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and his Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG, the Chris Pine Coast Guard movie The Finest Hours, a non-Pixar Disney Animation movie Zootopia, Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book (which is slated to be the first movie to have a full Dolby Cinema debut in 2016), Pete’s Dragon, something called Moana with Dwayne Johnson, and the big live action Beauty and the Beast movie that is already gearing up with Ewan McGregor just getting cast as Lumiere.
This is all in just the next couple of years as well - and as mentioned, this is all on top of the numerous Marvel and Star Wars movies that are already etched into our cinema date book. I suggest we all just go ahead and and write our checks out to Walt Disney and roll over and not give up too much of a fight. Though, I'll make the case that we should leave a little bit of money left over for pocket cash - we'll be needing to buy a lot of popcorn.
What do you think? Does Disney own the next few years of your movie life? What are you most excited for? Take to the comments section, dear reader!