CinemaCon 2022 brought together movie theater owners from around the globe, and was the hosting event for many production companies to announce their upcoming projects. Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of cinema has been in flux, the rise of streaming platforms being largely responsible for that. During the most recent Academy Awards ceremony, we saw the Apple TV film CODA receive the Best Picture award — making it the very first streaming platform film to win such a prestigious accolade.
So far, this year has shown itself to be the year that is reserved for projects with delayed production schedules. Films like Top Gun: Maverick, Morbius, and just about every Marvel Studios film, had seen at least a year and a half long release date delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Theaters seem to have been slowly but surely picking up since October 2021. With the way things are going this year, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2023. A lot of news was dropped this year, so let us give you the highlights.
Similar to Comic-Con, CinemaCon usually calls for guest appearances. While Disney is known for its dedication to effort and showmanship, things fell a little flat at their presentation. Their announcements were very direct and to the point. They basically said, “Here are two extended cuts of two films that we know you’re very excited for. Enjoy.” The two extended cuts were of Lightyear and Avatar: The Way of the Water.
Of course, everyone was excited for the Avatar preview, but after over a decade of waiting, the preview was not nearly long enough to satisfy the very patient fans.
Warner Bros. had a lot to say this year. With hints dropped about The Batman 2 being given the go-ahead, the release of the ultra pink Barbie poster featuring Margot Robbie, a preview of Timothée Chalamet as Willy Wonka in the musical film Wonka (a prequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and Baz Luhrmann doing what Baz Luhrmann does best — dazzling the crowd with his upcoming film, Elvis.
One of the most exciting parts of the Warner Bros. presentation was the footage release of The Flash. Although the film’s lead actor, Ezra Miller, has had some serious run-ins with the law this year, fans were given the opportunity to see the return of Michael Keaton in the Batsuit. You would have thought that Keaton’s return would have been the big surprise, but in an awkward turn of events, Olivia Wilde was served child custody documents while on stage during her announcement for the upcoming feature film, Don’t Worry Darling.
At this point, Universal knows that it’s tough to compete with the superhero studios. But that doesn’t stop them from creating entertaining films that span across different age groups. Universal brought big names onto their stage to create hype for their soon-to-be-released projects. Jordan Peele and Jamie Lee Curtis more than held their own with the audience, but Steve Carell (promoting Minions: The Rise of Gru) brought much needed levity to the convention and taught a multiplex general manager how to do the perfect Gru accent.
Other films that were announced were Jordan Peele’s Nope, the Puss in Boots sequel, Billy Eichner’s Bros, comedian Jo Koy’s semi-autobiographical comedy Easter Sunday, Idris Elba’s newest survival thriller film Beast, and the George Clooney and Julia Roberts romantic comedy, Ticket to Paradise.
Paramount spent a lot of time getting people excited about Top Gun: Maverick when the focus should have really been on Babylon. Damien Chazelle’s look into the golden era of Hollywood has a main cast list that makes this film too good to pass up. With talent like Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Tobey Maguire (serving as both an actor and executive producer), there’s a good chance that we will have more familiar and talented faces pop up in this film.
During their presentation, the studio made no mention of another one of Tom Cruise’s popular franchises Mission Impossible. The seventh film in the series, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning will be released in two parts with the first part slated for a summer 2023 release.
After all of that hype, it’s kind of depressing to see Lionsgate even attempt to keep the audience engaged. Knowing full well that they would struggle to maintain everyone’s attention, they brought in comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, the lead in their upcoming comedy film About My Father, to liven things up a bit. He was joined by his co-stars, and famed industry names, Robert De Niro and Kim Cattrall, as he went down the list of projects that were to be expected from Lionsgate.
Keanu Reeves received volumes of praise and cheer as he walked onto the stage to promote the fourth installment of the John Wick series. Also met with cheer was Rachel McAdams’ coming-of-age film Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret (based on the award-winning Judy Blume novel by the same name). Following the excitement and anticipation for John Wick 4, Lionsgate announced that the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, was currently in production and would arrive in theaters around Thanksgiving 2023.
Here’s the full list of movies to watch this June.
Photo via 20th Century Studios