CinemaCon Day Three: Disney looks to the future


Disney and all the brands it’s acquired over the years — Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm — took to the Colosseum stage at Caesars Palace on Wednesday morning for the third day of CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater owners and popcorn flavorologists.

And while the studio displayed new footage of next month’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and May’s “Maleficent,” there was as much or more appetite whetting for 2015’s live-action take on “Cinderella” and Pixar’s animated “Inside Out.”

Disney’s presentation, though, was just as notable for what wasn’t there. No news on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” no footage at all of Marvel’s animated “Big Hero 6” and only the same “Hooked on a Feeling” trailer for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the summer movie I’m most geeked about.

All in all, it was a bad morning for the nerd contingent.

As for “Captain America,” there was an extended scene of Cap (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) freeing the crew of a highjacked ship from pirates while she tries to fix him up on a date with someone from the office. Here’s hoping this is finally the movie to break Marvel’s sequel curse.

And new footage of “Maleficent,” the backstory of the “Sleeping Beauty” villainness, showed Mal (Angelina Jolie) leading an army of trees into battle. Between this and “Guardians’ ” Groot, a violent tree voiced by Vin Diesel, this looks to be the summer of homicidal hardwood.

Early scenes of the opulent, still-in-production “Cinderella” — with Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother and “Downton Abbey’s” Lily James as the titular princess — looked promising.

And a look at the unfinished “Inside Out,” which focuses on the emotions of a little girl — with Amy Poehler voicing Joy, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Bill Hader as Fear, Lewis Black as Anger and “The Office’s” Phylis Smith as Sadness — no doubt had the sounds of cash registers kachinging in theater owners’ heads.

In a nod to the immediate future, Disney brought out the blindingly handsome Jon Hamm to receive CinemaCon’s Award of Excellence in Acting as he introduced a screening of May’s “Million Dollar Arm.”

“They’re changing the name of the movie to ‘Frozen 2,’ ” Hamm joked. “That’s how much they believe in the movie.”

 

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