Before talking about his upcoming comedy War Dogs at Warner Bros’ CinemaCon panel today, director Todd Phillips acknowledged “disruption” in the business as booming technologies seek to steal audiences away from the big screen. And as far as Phillips goes, you can count him on the side of exhibition. “This is the time and the place to have those conversations,” the filmmaker said at (and about) CinemaCon. “There’s competition from video games, the golden age of television — why are we in such a rush to take that thing that separates us from a physical group in a movie theater?”
He added: “Why are we in a rush to turn movies into TV shows? Movies are special; we watch them with 500 strangers and wind up screaming together, crying together. We need to protect that part of the experience. You guys are a key part of what I do.”
Like Kevin Tsujihara’s opening remarks, neither the Warner Bros. chief nor Phillips called out The Screening Room by name (a number of trades are indicating that was the case), but their statements are certainly alluding to that given that the day-and-date streaming service is the big elephant in the room all week long here in Las Vegas.
Before the presentation, Bradley Cooper and Phillips reminisced about shooting The Hangover eight years ago. “That was the parking lot across the street where Ken Jeong leapt naked out of the trunk and proceeded to juggle his balls on my neck. How long was that (shoot), eight hours?” Cooper quipped to Phillips, earning great laughs.