UPDATE with more details: Warner Bros’ CinemaCon presentation was all about its DC Universe, with Ben Affleck mentioning for the first time in a while the stand-alone Batman movie he’s writing with Geoff Johns that Deadline told you about first back at Comic-Con 2015. Studio chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara made it official, saying Affleck will direct it.
Tsujihara opened the presentation this afternoon by promising exhibitors that they are the absolute No. 1 priority. “Despite evolving technologies, people still want to go to the movies,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about new players in the market. We’re not going to let a third party become the middleman between us!” The executive’s knock on day-and-date streaming triggered great applause.
“If there are new models, we’ll explore with you together and meet the challenges before us,” he added.
Affleck and Amy Adams were onstage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace to introduce a serious reel about the studio’s commitment to DC films, with clips from Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman (which we saw a few months ago when the clip dropped on the CW). The reel was capped by Zack Snyder sending out a hello with The Justice League gang from London. The Aquaman footage that was shown was the moment shown in BvS when Batman uncovers the file that Diana Prince has spiked.
After that, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and the whole Suicide Squad landed onstage and an extended look at the film was shown. Set to the song “Ballroom Blitz,” Warner Bros crafted a really fun trailer of the gang wreaking havoc. “We are very excited to be here with this film — we got something that’s gonna fill up those theaters and make people buy a lot of stuff,” beamed Smith.
Also hosting today’s panel was worldwide marketing and distribution president Sue Kroll and president of worldwide distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg … and Extra host Mario Lopez. The latter confirmed that Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is set to cross $800M, and Vanderberg revealed that Jeff Goldstein has been promoted to fully lead domestic distribution.
As for other pics on the WB slate, Russell Crowe appeared to talk about The Nice Guys.
“Shane Black has reached back to a time when America made itself corrupt, and (he) made it funny,” said Crowe talking about The Nice Guys. His co-star Ryan Gosling was not here. That followed with the best trailer I’ve seen for this movie, complete with Gosling’s and Crowe’s characters dropping a corpse on a wedding ceremony’s dinner table. Claps all around for this in the Colosseum.
Emila Clarke introduced the clip to MGM co-production Me Before You. It’s a British romantic comedy, and it has all the great earmarks of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. It’s about a young girl in love with a young guy bound to a wheelchair, and there’s a heartwarming scene where Clarke’s character Louisa Clark sits on the boy’s lap during a dance, gazes in his eyes and professes her love. “Let’s go anywhere in the world, you and me,” exclaims Louisa.
Todd Phillips is apt to make an appearance soon to talk about the Jonah Hill-Miles Teller comedy War Dogs; The Hangover director was seen hanging around the elevators here at Caesars. Dwayne Johnson, ala the Paramount Baywatch clip the other night, is a no-show here, but sent a thank-you message to exhibs here and introduced his Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart and director Rawson Thurber, who took the stage to show off the action comedy. Hysterical trailer.
The takeaway scene: Johnson and Hart’s characters knew each other back in high school; Johnson was known as “Fat Robbie,” the wrestler.