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Star-studded CinemaCon in Las Vegas canceled

CinemaCon, the annual Las Vegas gathering of the National Association of Theatre Owners, fell victim to the coronavirus outbreak late Wednesday.

The four-day convention, scheduled for March 30-April 2 at Caesars Palace, was canceled amid a flurry of other responses to the pandemic.

Disney, Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount and Lionsgate were among the studios scheduled to showcase their upcoming films to movie theater operators in a bid to drum up excitement. The series of star-studded presentations has become a major event on the Hollywood promotional calendar.

Last year’s CinemaCon brought the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Charlize Theron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Colosseum stage, and it marked the debut of footage of Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-winning work in “Joker.”

Around 5,000 attendees from 80 countries were expected at what would have been the conference’s 10th anniversary.

NATO president John Fithian and CinemaCon organizer Mitch Neuhauser issued a joint statement on the cancellation:

“It is with great regret we are announcing the cancellation of CinemaCon 2020.

Each spring, motion picture exhibitors, distributors and industry partners from around the world meet in Las Vegas to share information and celebrate the moviegoing experience. This year, due to the travel ban from the European Union, the unique travel difficulties in many other areas of the world and other challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, a significant portion of the worldwide motion picture community is not able to attend CinemaCon.

While local outbreaks vary widely in severity, the global circumstances make it impossible for us to mount the show that our attendees have come to expect. After consultation with our attendees, trade show exhibitors, sponsors and studio presenters, NATO has decided therefore to cancel CinemaCon 2020.

We look forward to continuing the 10-year tradition of presenting the largest movie theater convention in the world and joining our attendees in future celebrations of the moviegoing experience.”

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