Disney took a slightly different approach to its CinemaCon presentation earlier today. The studio decided it was best to screen the first 30 minutes of Pixar's Finding Dory before showing Captain America: Civil War in its entirety to those in attendance. Disney started its CinemaCon presentation with a sizzle reel, highlighting all the great movies both recently released and upcoming. The Jungle Book, which opens this weekend, featured prominently among a slate of largely family friendly titles from Disney's 5 major studios.
Dave Hollis took the stage to thank exhibitors and promised much from the upcoming slate. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, headlined by Felicity Jones, kicked things off with its teaser trailer. As Hollis claimed, this was the first time it was being shown on the 'big screen'. The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer will be attached to Captain America: Civil War in theaters.
Hollis went onto mention that 2016 is off to a great start with Zootopia earning nearly $900M. He dropped a few little shots of the film and talked about how their animation studio is turning out great new animation titles on its entirely new IP (intellectual property) with original stories, characters and more. Hollis briefly highlighted Moana, headlined by the prolific Dwayne Johnson who has, thus far, made an appearance in all 4 major studio presentations, including Paramount, Sony, Warner and, now, Disney. Hollis jumped next to The Jungle Book, discussing the limited international market release and touting a 100% critics' endorsement on Rotten Tomatoes. Hollis promised that Favreau's retelling is an epic picture that MUST be seen on the big screen for an experience that cannot be duplicated by any other venue. The Jungle Book is the latest 'modern fairytale' joining Maleficent, Cinderella, Oz the Great and Powerful, Alice in Wonderland and, up next, Alice Through the Looking Glass from producer Tim Burton. Pete's Dragon, with Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard, gives Disney another retooling which, along with a live-action retake, Beauty and the Beast, promises to 'refresh' the familiar titles and delight audiences.
Changing gears, Disney is preparing an inspiring true story, Queen of Katwe, a biopic following the rise of a Ugandan chess prodigy who becomes a "Woman Candidate Master" after her performance at the World Chess Olympiads. Basically it's a success story of the woman who rose from a slum to become an international chess champion. Hollis says this.
"If you do not weep at this movie, you're a cyborg."
The BFG, from the mind of Roald Dahl and directed by Steven Spielberg, brings back the team that brought us E.T. The film hits screens this July. A clip from the movie promises a tale of "The Big Friendly Giant", from Dahl's book of a young orphaned girl befriended by this seeming monster. Although the palette is somewhat dark, the tone and tenor of the clip presents a rather fantastical and whimsical telling of the tale. This promises to be a story that should do well with families during summer 2016.
Finding Dory was up next, the long-awaited sequel (13 years after the original) to the Pixar classic Finding Nemo. Andrew Stanton took the stage along with Lindsey Collins to introduce the film and a short clip. The duo feigned a hangover and delighted the crowd with their "Vegas humor" before bouncing upright to finish their intro. They thanked the crowd and talked about why they took 13 years to get Dory back to the screen. Stanton talked about how he views Dory as a tragic character, always lost and at least a bit alone, and he wanted to get back to exploring the tale of this hapless fish and making sure she's 'ok', something they seek to do through Dory's backstory about how she lost her parents (or they lost her) and how that culminates in her, quite literally, bumping into Marlin, Nemo's dad. Introducing a preview to this capacity crowd of the first 27 minutes of Finding Dory, they promised a first few minutes that revealed something surprising...That they begged us not to reveal. As discussed, the clip sets up the back-story of Dory, taking us right up to the point where she, quite literally 'runs into' Marlon, Nemo's dad. The story then jumps a year and Dory suddenly realizes that shes' lost her family and desperately wants to find them. he trio sets off, with the help of the familiar turtles and their epic 'ride' of the California Current to travel, once again, across the ocean in search of Dory's family. Finding Dory promises to be a great family pleaser and left the capacity crowd at the Colosseum clamoring for more.
Marvel was the final act. Hollis turned to the Marvel Studios work and the Phase 2 universe that has transcended the superhero genre...12 films, 8 years, $9BN worldwide. Hollis brought his intro to Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. He tossed to the Doctor Strange trailer that first appeared at the Captain America: Civil War premiere last night...This is definitely Marvel, as we're sure you've already seen from our footage of the trailer.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars: Episode VIII are promised to all hit the screen within the next 18 months. Hollis said that Disney's commitment to the theatrical window has never been stronger. They continue to want to work with exhibitors to make sure theater-going remains the top choice for movie lovers for years to come.
With that, Hollis left the stage, leaving the crowd to an early screening of Captain America: Civil War which was, in short, probably the best Marvel movie to date, easily besting both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier as well as Thor: The Dark World. With humor, epic battles (mainly between our beloved Avengers) and great heart, this one is, truly... EPIC.