Lionsgate closed out CinemaCon 2018 showing off a diverse slate consisting of African American fare (Uncle Drew), indie dramas (Blindspotting), zany comedies (The Spy Who Dumped Me), and four-quad plays like their re-imagination of Robin Hood.
Distribution chief David Spitz led the session to tell exhibitors, “There’s a lot of noise about big mergers and third parties, but at Lionsgate, we care about one thing: Putting movies in front of your audience where movies are meant to be seen.”
Lil Rel Howery, star of Uncle Drew, hosted the presentation, showing off his pic’s trailer about a basketball promoter who loses his street team to a rival and to win a tournament brings together an aging team. It’s based on a Pepsi digital series and stars NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving and Tiffany Haddish.
Blindspotting, which Lionsgate/Summit picked up at Sundance, showed off a trailer about best friends in Oakland — one a loose cannon, the other trying to right his wrongs — who collide in a gentrified city. Writers and stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal followed the trailer with an emotional spoken-word jam that not only highlighted their hometown but also paid homage to the fallen victims of police violence. “Each day I say the names and it gets harder to hold on… How perfect does a black boy have to be before we mourn him.” The audience was moved — and note applause here at CinemaCon has been scattered, so when they clap, it truly means the room of exhibs love it. Not everything gets applause.
The Spy Who Dumped Me stars Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon took the stage, amazed by Diggs and Casal’s poetry jam (which they wrote just prior to the session). “We have no spoken word! We have nothing important to say!” said McKinnon.
“Everything is written for us,” said Kunis. The duo made an inside joke to a theatrical exhibitor named Jerry saying that they heard he had a bad night at the blackjack table and that the duo are now the proud owners of 12 Regal Theatres in western Ohio.
“We’re theater owners just like you…but we don’t know what we’re doing,” said McKinnon.
Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and director Paul Feig came out to instruct the crowd how to make a perfect martini (which ended up with Feig fake-passing out that he was poisoned). They were selling their September 14 dark comedy A Simple Favor to the room, and it follows two women, one (Emily, played by Lively) more elite than the other. Then Emily goes missing, and Kendrick’s Stephanie is left trying to find her, and being haunted by her.
Other highlights included the Shawn Levy-produced sci-fi pic Kin (August 31) and the Gerard Butler submarine headliner Hunter Killer (October 26).
Jamie Foxx showed up and showed off the Robin Hood trailer, and it’s clear it’s a faster, snappier, more Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in its tone than any previous title about the bandit who robs from the rich and gives to the poor. Those who like Robin Hood movies will notice a clear difference from Ridley Scott’s Russell Crowe version and the ’90s Kevin Costner title.