Last year at CinemaCon, Lionsgate showed exhibitors a sneak peek of La La Land. This year, after a short presentation by president of domestic distribution David Spitz, the distributor showed all of the Ryan Reynolds-starrer The Hitman’s Bodyguard.
But before they did, Spitz showed off a series of clips. First on the stage were How To Be A Latin Lover’s Salma Hayek and Eugenio Derbez, who launched into a comedy act before Hayek hit him upside the back of the head and told him, “This is not Comic-Con” to which he replied, “ComicCon, CinemaCon, Cannes, silicon … what’s the difference, they are all showing movies.”
After a routine about how to pronounced his name (“the middle of which sounds like you are puking,” said Hayek), they showed the comedy which was well received. Pic follows a sugar daddy played by Derbez, whose elderly wife cheats on him with a car dealer played by Michael Cera. He is forced out of the house to live with his sister (Hayek). But he sets his eyes on Raquel Welch’s rico mujer as his way back into the lap of luxury. All-star cast here with Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell and Rob Riggle. The Pantelion Lionsgate label is handling the April 28 release
All Eyez On Me, the biopic about late rapper Tupac Shakur, came next, with a story that promises to be a behind-the-scenes look of how he rose to become one of the most respected rappers of his generation. The film will be released in June.
Next up was American Assassin, coming this fall, which stars Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton. The gritty story has plenty of action as O’Brien learns at the hand of a master killer.
Wonder comes to theaters on November 17, and Spitz called it “the highest testing movie in Lionsgate’s history.” It’s about a kid named Augi, whose face has been deformed by surgeries, as he tries to find friends in school. The lesson he learns is that he was born to stand out and accepts himself as he is. It stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Room‘s Jacob Tremblay
Hayek also co-stars in Hitman’s Bodyguard, and she came back onstage to introduce the full film in its first public screening. Overall, next to Disney’s 12 1/2-minute presentation, Lionsgate was the second-fastest this year since they were showing the Reynolds film.
Last year, less than an hour into Lionsgate’s CinemaCon screening of Now You See Me 2, the Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace was evacuated over a mysterious backpack. Turned out, it belonged to a couple of Keanu Reeves fans who left it behind after trying to get his autograph. This year, as a response to that incident, NATO upped their security at the exhibition confab.