Even 10 months out from its May 15, 2015 release date on alien adventure Pixels, Sony‘s playing the long game. This is the only Comic-Con the studio has to promote the Chris Columbus-directed Adam Sandler pic, after all. That means a full-court marketing takeover inside the busy Hard Rock Hotel just outside the Convention Center, complete with arcade open to the public, and the presentation of barely-there footage from the set at this morning’s studio panel.
In the pic, aliens invade Earth after mistaking feeds of classic arcade games as an act of intergalactic war. The film is still shooting and Columbus appeared via taped message to make a first impression on convention attendees. Fans in the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom also glimpsed co-star Josh Gad in a gag video showing him being chased … by a tennis ball. Below, check out Peter Dinklage in character in a clip promoting a Pixels video arcade set up at the Hard Rock in San Diego.
Sony at least had the effervescent Jack Black in tow to promote Goosebumps, its August 7, 2015 adaptation of the youth horror novels by R.L. Stine. Black plays a version of Stine in the film, in which the author keeps all the nightmare monsters from his literary works locked up in his books until a young neighbor (Dylan Minnette) accidentally releases them into the real world. Black and Goosebumps director Rob Letterman just finished the shoot and brought onstage with them a “co-star” from the film — Slappy the Dummy, the ventriloquist’s dummy that comes alive in the series’ popular Night of the Living Dummy stories.
“I love Comic-Con,” Slappy quipped. “It’s great to be in a room of people freakier than I am.” Black’s repartee with Slappy quickly escalated into high drama as the dummy turned against him, to the crowd’s delight. “Guess who’s pulling the strings now, Jack? You’re Jack Black — you’re the Kung Fu Panda guy,” Slappy sneered, before calling in a murderer’s row of costumed Goosebumps “monsters” to escort Black out. Slappy then turned to Letterman: “So Rob, I’ve got a couple of projects to pitch you…”
Here that Pixels clip: