2019’s CinemaCon kicked off yesterday in Los Angeles’ Caesars Palace, with most of the major studios—Warner Bros., Universal, Disney, Paramount, Lionsgates, STX—all involved. With the four-day festival already underway, we’ll have new information coming at us left, right and center in the coming days, concerning the biggest forthcoming films of the year.
At the end of the week, we’ll collect all the major news and developments up for you, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, we have put together a list of dream announcements and reveals we want to take place for your eyes and ours.
Disney’s plans for Fox
As Disney’s Hollywood monopolization continues, the exact details surrounding their purchase of 20th Century Fox are still largely unknown. We know the headline-grabbing basics—Disney now owns the rights to the X-Men and Deadpool—but with the Fox 2000 division already the first victim of the merger and over 4,000 jobs thought to be lost as a result, many would like to know further details as to what the merger entails.
Will the likes of Professor X, Magneto, and the rest of the X-Men join forces with the Avengers in Marvel’s Phase Three? Will Fox Searchlight continue pumping out award winners? And will old Fox properties be brought back while current properties get pushed out? Let’s also not forget Fox started toying with R-rated superhero films with much success, but some rumblings suggest Disney will put a halt to that and keep it all PG-13 going forward.
The answers to these questions may be pleasing or disappointing. Nonetheless, CinemaCon provides the perfect opportunity to at least answer them.
Coulrophobics may need to go into hiding for the next few months, as the sequel to the film adaptation of Stephen King’s It will bring Pennywise back to scare us senseless. Warner Bros has remained fairly tight-lipped on the follow-up to 2016’s smash hit. What they’ve shared so far is a generic title poster, September 6 release date, and a mega-talented cast made up of Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, and more. It also takes place 27 years after the events from the first film.
But beyond that, little is known about It: Chapter Two. However, Warner Bros. will take the stage April 2nd at CinemaCon—primetime to drop a teaser trailer, giving us our first look at fictional modern-day Derry, Maine.
Furthermore, with the release of Pet Semetary (a Paramount film but King adaptation) just a few days away, it would be rather foolish of them not to capitalize on the mutually-beneficial publicity the films would provide each other. Have a think on it Warner, and get back to us.
Hush-hush on the Marvel front
The latest trailers for Avengers: Endgame—the grand finale to the MCU saga and culmination of 11 years and 21 movies—have been perfect marketing. What we’ve seen so far has revealed little new footage, yet trailer number two has become the second most-watched trailer in the first 24 hours after its online debut of all time, and while trailer number three has shown new footage, it’s not anything super spectacular.
Disney has aced the marketing for Endgame thus far because they know one thing: Endgame does not need to be sold. It’s arguably the blockbuster event of the decade, the likes of which audiences have rarely seen before, and the audience Marvel and them have built over 21 instalments will be there for opening weekend regardless of how little they know about the film’s events.
What the unveiling of a new full trailer would likely lead to is a temptation to spill some of their secrets, somewhat spoiling the surprise. Less than a month out from its April 26 release date, it would be a wholly unnecessary thing to do. You wouldn’t tell your mother what you had gotten her for Christmas just seconds before her unwrapping, and Disney should bear that in mind before taking to the podium on April 3.
Additionally, with only Spider-Man: Far From Home on their slate beyond Endgame, Disney may be tempted to tease their Phase Four plans; likewise, it would weaken the wonder of the Avengers’ conclusion, so we’d be happy for them focus their efforts elsewhere.
Rocketman (I think it’s about time they showed us a performance)
Rocketman, Paramount Pictures’ Elton John biopic, has continually been mentioned in the same breath as Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s easy to see why: they’re both buzzy musical-drama flicks about a real-life, gay showman celebrated the world over. While Bohemian Rhapsody may have been critically-derided upon release, audiences fell in love with it to the tune of almost $900 million. If Rocketman stands a chance at approaching that figure (which is perhaps unfair, given the rumor that Rocketman may not be so family-friendly in its depiction of sex, drugs and rock and roll), they need to grab audiences at CinemaCon.
Less than two months out from the end-of-May release date, it’s time for Paramount to up-the-ante in terms of promotion. An appearance from Elton himself (reminiscent of Cher’s appearance last year for Universal, to promote their Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again sequel) or the film’s star, Taron Egerton, would sure grab them some headlines. Hell, maybe Egerton could borrow one of John’s outfits and the pair could belt out a performance of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”?
Failing that, a peek at Rocketman’s filmed musical numbers would no doubt win us over. With the Musical Renaissance in Hollywood that’s been happening over the past few years, audiences have proven they’re inclined to a big song-and-dance number. Armed with Elton’s abundant back catalog, and the promise that Egerton’s thrown himself in vocally, even one performance piece would go down a treat.
A sense of surprise, please, CinemaCon!
We have some solid expectations surrounding 2019’s CinemaCon—Universal may tease Cats, Lionsgate may preview Long Shot, and Warner Bros might give us some footage of Joaquin Phoenix in Joker.
But the highlight of almost any convention is the surprises that lie in wait. While CinemaCon is essentially an exhibition to excite and endear theater-owners to the movies populating their screens in the coming months, that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for a few shock announcements that cause us writers to race towards our keyboards.
We want something big and we want something exciting. Please deliver, CinemaCon!