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CinemaCon Day Two: Universal brings the funny


Tuesday morning was Universal’s turn at Caesars Palace for CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater owners and companies hawking everything from digital projectors to the latest in nacho technology.

And the studio kicked things off with a raunchy, largely unquotable bang by showcasing scenes from “Neighbors” that featured, among other hilarious atrocities, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron slapping each other with sex toys. That was followed by new footage from Seth Macfarlane’s VERY adult period comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and scenes from “Dumb and Dumber To” that showed Jeff Daniels’ Harry using a pickup to pull a catheter out of Jim Carrey’s Lloyd. Those comedies look like they’ll make some serious money later this year.

In other highlights, “42’s” Chadwick Boseman continues to work his way through the history books by stepping into the high-heeled boots of James Brown in “Get On Up”; “The Purge: Anarchy” looks to be far less claustrophobic than its predecessor by taking the action to the streets; and the first public look at “Fifty Shades of Gray” only briefly touched on the bondage-y kinkfest that’s to come.

“Despicable Me’s” Minions ran amok in several scenes from 2015’s aptly titled “Minions.”

And the gang from “Fast & Furious 7,” including the late Paul Walker, was shown driving their cars out the back of an airborne cargo plane — yeah, that really happened — in footage that was more bittersweet than exciting.

The studio that in recent years has flown in a cavalcade of stars to take the Colosseum stage only brought one this year. But it got its money’s worth with that one: Angelina Jolie.

The director introduced several minutes of her incredible-looking, inspirational Christmas release “Unbroken,” based on Laura Hillenbrand’s biography of Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini.

Universal first bought the rights to Zamperini’s life story back in 1957.

Based on what attendees saw Tuesday, “Unbroken” may have been worth the wait.