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CinemaCon 2015 Showcases Technological Advancements, Upcoming Films, and a Bevy of Stars

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judy-thorburn-editorCinemaCon 2015 Showcases Technological Advancements, Upcoming Films, and a Bevy of Stars

By Judy Thorburn

Celebrating its fifth year, CinemaCon, the Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the largest, most important gathering for the global motion picture industry, took place Monday through Thursday, April 20-23 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The annual four day event is about “celebrating the movie going experience” with the movie theaters and the major studios and distributors partnering together in a continual effort to enhance that experience for their audiences.

Along with a trade show floor that featured the the latest technological innovations and equipment, theatre seating, food concession goodies and more, the highlight for attendees was the opportunity to get a sneak peak at some of the most highly anticipated films from the major studios' upcoming product slate, attend special advance screenings of Universal Pictures' Pitch Perfect 2, 20th Century Fox's Spy, and Pixar Animation's Inside Out, and to catch in person appearances by some of the biggest stars and filmmakers.

This year's hot topic at CinemaCon was High Dynamic Range (HDR) the latest technological advancement that immerses movie audiences like never before. Dolby unveiled its new Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range (HDR) laser projection system which enables a greater range of color contrast and saturation along with a wider range between the blackest blacks and whitest whites. Currently digital cinema has a 2000:1 ratio from black to white. High Dynamic Range bumps that up dramatically to a truly dazzling 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio adding a new and improved look and feel to the experience.

The groundbreaking process was showcased in the new PIXAR film Inside Out, a clip from Tomorrowland, and in the new trailer of JJ. Abrams'  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.Dolby Vision was also used for a clip from Joe Kosinski's  Tron that was remastered in Dolby Vision and the improved much brighter Dolby 3D. The sequel, which Kosinski will direct, is currently in preproduction.

Among the notable events at CinemaCon 2015 was “The Legend of Cinema Luncheon: A Salute to Clint Eastwood,” on Wednesday, featuring the legendary film icon participating in a  one-on-one discussion with moderator Stephen Galloway, Executive Features Editor of The Hollywood Reporter, on his filmmaking process and his passion for the moviegoing experience. When asked about his acting technique Eastwood responded, “You have to teach yourself how to get into it. You observe people, the way people eat, etc.”

Clint Eastwood 2015 CinemaCon 67930
Clint Eastwood
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Asked how he chooses the material?  “I read a book, a script, the source material (and think) would I like to be in it or direct it...then I am all set to go”, Eastwood said.

Regarding “American Sniper”, Eastwood said, “Spielberg was supposed to direct but he was doing something else.  I picked up the book, read it, Warner Bros called. They said they would love to have me do it.  I called Spielberg and said (jokingly) I am taking your leftover.  He was very supportive.  I became very curious about Chris Kyle and his family life. I met his widow in Texas, and got a good feeling about it.  I started seeing problems of the military.  It was more than just an action movie. I thought Bradley Cooper was terrific and would be great in it.  Everything takes care of itself.”

He went on, “I was constantly obsessed with making the film. After I completed it, it was a huge letdown, like postpartum depression.”

What did the film tap into and why was it such a hit?

“There are lots of Americans who discuss the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but no one thought about it from the point of view of families and those fighting. It opens the door to a lot of questions.   The timing for this film was good and the marketing was great.” he went on to say.

As for his other favorite films Eastwood has worked on the actor/director said a few come to mind such as “Unforgiven, The Outlaw Jose Wales and Million Dollar Baby...all fun and different. I guess I would base likability on how much fun it was to shoot, the actors, etc.”

After the discussion, Eastwood was presented with this year’s “Fandango Fan Choice Award, for his last film, 2014's, “American Sniper” which received a Best Picture Oscar nomination.
The final day luncheon and special program, titled, “The Independent Game: Based on a True Story”, was moderated by Brent Lang, Senior Film and Media Reporter for Variety that featured a panel including actress Julianne Moore (Still Alice), filmmaker Jay Roach (Trumbo), Robert Lenihan President of Programming AMC Theaters, and Tom Bernard Co-Chairman and CEO of SONY Pictures Classics. Discussed during the session was the world of independent film, where it fits into todays movie going world and what the future holds. Moore said. “My career took off in independent films and my career has been based on it, these tiny films, including my Oscar”.

2015 CinemaCon panel-1
Moderator Brent Lang, Robert Lenihan, Tom Bernard, Julianne Moore, and Jay Roach
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

On Tuesday PARAMOUNT presented exclusive footage from the Summer of 2015 and Beyond that included live appearances by Arnold Schwartzenegger and Tom Cruise.

Schwartzenegger kicked off the proceedings by walking on stage and promising “big, big box office” as he introduced a 12 minute sneak peak of his upcoming new Terminator flick, “TERMINATOR GENISYS” (opening July 1) that will be the first of another trilogy.

Arnold Schwartzenegger
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Tom Cruise and his co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg walked on stage to promote the next chapter of the Mission Impossible franchise that promises to raise the bar in its level of excitement. Cruise introduced footage from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION,  which arrives in theaters July 31.  Afterwards, he gave audiences a special treat, talking about the technical aspects of doing his own stunts and how he prepared and performed a dangerous/death defying stunt. Footage that has never been seen by the public, featured him hanging/ riding outside an airplane in flight that drew gasps from everyone in the audience.

Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, and Simon Pegg
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Paramount also showed clips from DADDY'S HOME, a comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION and the highly anticipated STAR TREK 3, which opens on July 8. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 is currently in production and it was announced SCOUTS VS. ZOMBIES has been retitled THE SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

With TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, taking in $3.7 billion worldwide, making it the highest global box office winner of 2014, Paramount reconfirmed the plans to continue the franchise and that Michael Bay was involved, although it wasn't mentioned if he would direct.

As for 2016, we can expect Ben Hur in Feb. 2016, which we were told is NOT a remake,  Adam McKay’s  THE BIG SHORT,  which is currently filming in New Orleans with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell, and Michael Bay's drama thriller about Benghazi, titled 13 HOURS.

Ben Stiller, in character as Derek Zoolander, appeared by way of video.  He was hilarious as he discussed the sequel to ZOOLANDER (he referred to the first film as a documentary) which is scheduled to be released  Feb. 12, 2016.

Mario Lopez from TV's Extra, hosted Tuesday afternoon's WARNER BROS. “Big Picture” presentation that was jam packed with an extraordinary roster of sneak peaks and talent.

Mario Lopez
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara strolled on stage to show a clip from their comedy HOT PURSUIT Pursuit (May 8).  Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hault presented a trailer from MAD MAX: FURY ROAD in 3D (May 15).

Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Garguino and director Brad Payton, were on hand to promote their disaster movie, SAN ANDREAS (May 29) which is about the wrath of mother nature.  “I wanted to make a movie that would shake the earth at its core... a movie that was truly epic and global- spectacular in size and scope.”  said Johnson.

Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Carla Garguino
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Cogler (Fruitvale Station) introduced an early trailer from their upcoming film “CREED” (Nov. 25). “We wanted to resurrect Creed (the character played by Carl Weathers who died in the ring in 1985's "Rocky IV) and what he stood for and passed onto his son.  It's  the beginning of a new journey," Sly said about the story of Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan.

Director Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, and Sylvester Stallone
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier and Jerry Ferrara, cast members in the upcoming film "ENTOURAGE"(June 5) gave a sneak peak at the movie that brings the popular TV  show to the big screen.

Kevin Dillon, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, and Jerry Ferrara
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

"BLACK MASS", which is based on a true story, features an almost unrecognizable Johnny Depp as the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. "This is a film about the abuse of power, and the bonds of brotherhood, and loyalty to family and home,” said director Scott Cooper. "In the city of Boston at this time, criminals and lawmen were virtually indistinguishable. He then added, "Depp, gives a "performance for the ages ".

Cast members Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez, showed clips from the upcoming Magic Mike sequel, film "MAGIC MIKE XXL" (July 1).

Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez Matt Bomer, and Channing Tatum
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Ed Helms and Christina Applegate introduced a few clips from their comedy,  “VACATION” (July 31).

Christina Applegate and Ed Helms
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer strolled on stage together to introduce clips from “THE MAN FROM UNCLE” (based on the 1960's TV series) from director Guy Ritchie which will be released in IMAX domestically, Aug. 14.

Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Warner Bros. also debuted a trailer from "POINT BREAK” (Dec. 25) starring Luke Bracey and Edgar Ramirez, in a reimagined take on Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 surfer criminals cult classic that this time delves into all kinds of extreme sports.

There were also trailers from Joe Wright's “PAN” in 3D (Oct 9) staring Rooney Mara,  “THE INTERN” (Sept. 25) with Anne Hathaway and Robet DeNiro, Ron Howard's seafaring action adventure “IN THE HEART OF THE SEA” (Dec 11) inspired by Moby Dick, starring Chris Hemsworth  and Cillian Murphy, and "BATMAN VS. SUPERMSN: DAWN OF JUSTICE " starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill (in 3D and IMAX March 2016).

In the evening, at the advance screening of 20th Century Fox's “Spy”, starring Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham, comedy director Paul Feig was on hand to introduce the film.  “I love doing comedy. I want my movies to be a party and for people to say, I had fun at the movies. Some directors lose sight of that. This movie was a labor of love for me.”Feig said.

Wednesday morning, Walt Disney Studios kicked off the third day of CinemaCon with a presentation of the studio's upcoming slate, and an advance screening of  Pixar Animation's “INSIDE OUT”, about a little girl who is guided by her emotions, Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) that come to life as characters inside her mind.

Prior to the screening, Director Peter Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, the team behind the Academy Award-winning Up were on hand to discuss Inside Out.  Docter said the film was inspired by watching his own daughter, Elie, grow up. Doctor said, "She was very spirited and spunky, and then she turned 11. She started getting more reclusive and having these eye-rolling moments. It made us wonder what's going on in her head."

Director Pete Docter and Producer Jonas Rivera
Photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Inside Out is the first film from Pixar since 2013's Monster University, but the studio expects 2015 to be a great year with two films scheduled for release. Pixar will also release THE GOOD DINASAUR during Thanksgiving. The film, directed by Peter Sohn, explores a world where dinosaurs were not annihilated and are forced to deal with the arrival of the first human boy.

Also on Disney's upcoming slate is Marvel's next installment of the Avengers, “THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON”, which opens on May 1.  Trailers were shown from the highly anticipated  “ANTMAN” starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas (July 17), “TOMORROWLAND”, a sci fi mystery adventure and thrill ride through new dimensions, inspired by visionary Walt Disney, starring George Clooney and CinemaCon's 2015 Star of Tomorrow Britt Robertson.

Attendees also got a chance to see a trailer from Lucas Films' STAR WARS EPISODE VII- THE FORCE AWAKENS, a continuation of the Star Wars saga, scheduled for release this Christmas.

In the evening, Sony Pictures presented their Exclusive Product Slate Highlighting 2015 film that included tease clips from Ron Howard's Inferno, a remake of GHOSTBUSTERS (featuring female stars in the title roles) SPIDERMAN and JUMP STREET, ALOHA with Rachel McAdams, Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, CONCUSSION starring Will Smith, X-MAS with Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie, RICKI AND THE FLASH starring Meryl Streep,  THE PERFECT GUY with Michael Ealy and Sanaa Lathan, THE FIFTH WAVE with Chloe Grace Moretz and Maggie Siff,  MONEY MONSTER starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell.

Other  feature films from SONY heading to theaters in the future include ANGRY BIRDS, SMURFS, UNERWORLD 5, RESIDENT EVIL 6 AND EQUILIZER 2.

The presentation concluded with a new pivotal scene from SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond movie that contained a huge spoiler. Director Sam Mendes introduced it saying it is a work in progress but wanted to give attendees a “flavor of what's in store”.

None of the stars from the following upcoming theatrical releases were present, but several directors showed up to to talk about their movies.  Robert Zemeckis was hand to discuss THE WALK (opening Oct. 2)  starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt which is based on the true story of Philippe Petit’s 1974 illegal high-wire walk between New York’s Twin Towers, and to show off a new trailer. Zemeckis said  that he wanted to make the project to be seen on a big screen,  the biggest screen possible, in IMAX 3D.

Director Robert Zemeckis
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

The second director to arrive on stage was Chris Columbus to talk about his action comedy PIXELS (July) featuring two casts of characters, animated classic video game characters including Pac Man and Donkey Kong and another featuring Sandler, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad. “Each video game character could have a movie on their own,” joked Columbus before showing the never-before-seen footage. Pixels opens in July.

Director Chris Columbus
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Ang Lee wasn't able to be there in person, but he appeared on video to discuss details of the film Billy Lynn's LONG HALFTIME WALK starring Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart. No footage was screened but Lee said it is the first time ever that a film is being shot on Sony cameras in 3D at 120 frames per second and he believes the future of filmmaking is exciting and will provide audiences with a new type of cinematic experience.

Before talking about his film, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, director Genndy Tartakovsky said he was honored to be sharing the stage with legendary filmmakers. He said it took him back to when he first came to America in the 1970's and saw Jungle Book, his first movie in a theater. That film made him fall in love with movies, and why he became an animator and director. When Hotel Transylvania opened in theaters, he sat in the audience and listened to the reactions, happy that all generations were laughing at the same jokes. He’s thrilled to return to Hotel Transylvania with this sequel, and said new cast member Keegan-Michael Key is hilarious. Tartakovsky also revealed  being intimated by Mel Brooks, who is part of the cast and was nervous to direct him. The film’s about 12 weeks from being finished and the footage screened, much of which is in the previously released trailer, was not the final product.

Director Genndy Tartakovsky
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Producer Neal Moritz and director Rob Letterman spoke about GOOSEBUMPS, a live action family friendly adventure that brings R.L. Stein's book to life.  Letterman said he was inspired by watching Amblin films as a kid and stole some ideas from those films to put into Goosebumps (to be released during Halloween). The clip shown was from a work in progress featuring the abominable snowman and the Wolfman.

Producer Neal Moritz
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Director Rob Letterman
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

On Thursday morning, the final day of CinemaCon,  20th Century Fox's presentation highlighting its future releases kicked off with an extended look at Blue Sky Studios' animated “THE PEANUTS MOVIE” based on Charles Schultz's  beloved comic strip characters led Charlie Brown, an underdog and his dog Snoopy, that opens on Nov. 6 in 3D.

To promote her latest comedy, SPY, Melissa McCarthy was introduced.  But, it was rapper 50 Cent (who appears in the film) that showed up on stage pretending he was McCarthy who got so into character as a spy that she became a master of disguise. The real Melissa McCarthy appeared on video pretending to be 50 Cent and both engaged in some funny banter. Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham then came out to talk about their roles before they showed some extended footage of the funny comedy that was screened for attendees on Tuesday night and will have a theatrical release on June 5.

Jude Law, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, 50 Cent and Director Paul Feig
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Clips were also shown from the remake of  POLTERGEIST starring Sam Rockwell (May 22), PAPER TOWNS (July 24) starring  CinemaCon's Rising Stars award recipients,Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff, HITMAN AGENT 47 (Aug. 28) based on the popular video game,starring Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto and Hannah War, MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS (Sept.18), VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (Oct. 2) staring James MacAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, a new take on THE FANTASTIC FOUR  (Aug.7) starring CinemaCon Ensemble Award recipients Jamie Bell, Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan who came out to introduce the trailer.

An early look at raw footage was shown from THE REVENANT (Dec. 25) an action adventure inspired by a true story, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. We also were given sneak peaks at the animated comedy ALVIN AND HE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD TRIP BEGINS (Dec. 23), David O' Russell's drama JOY (Dec. 25) starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro, Ridley Scott's space epic THE MARTIAN (Nov. 25) with Matt Damon (who appeared on video to introduce the footage) Jessica Chastain and Kate Mara.

The presentation ended with a sizzle reel showing clips from all the movies plus a quick look at what's in store for 2016 including  DEADPOOL, MISS PEREGRIN'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN  (from Tim Burton),  KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES,  EDDIE AND THE EAGLE,  INDEPENDENCE DAY 2, and many more. There also was teaser for KUNG FU PANDA  3 with Jack Black’s character coming in and seeing the logo upside down, suggesting everyone in the audience stand on their head, which is what he does.
Later in the afternoon, Universal Pictures offered attendees an exclusive look ahead at the studio's slate of releases for the Summer of 2015 and beyond.

Vin Diesel opened the proceedings by thanking the exhibitors for their support in helping make Furious 7 such a phenomenon.  He was emotional talking about working with the recently deceased Paul Walker and said they were truly family.  He then  announced that FURIOUS 8 will open April 14, 2017.The studio also announced release dates for its two planned Fifty Shades of Grey sequels: FIFTY SHADES: DARKER on  February 10, 2017, and FIFTY SHADES: FREED on  February 9, 2018.

Vin Diesel
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Actress Elizabeth Banks came out to introduce the trailor from her directorial debut PITCH PERFECT 2, that was screened on Monday night.  Seth MacFarlane showed an extended Red Band sizzle reel for TED 2 (June 26) and Amy Schumer drew laughs for her intro to TRAINWRECK (July 17) which she stars in and wrote.

Elizabeth Banks
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Seth MacFarlane
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Director Jason Moore offered a sneak peak at SISTERS, starring real life best buds, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler,  which is set to open December 18.

Director Jason Moore
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Director Chris Meledandri introduced footage from MINIONS (Jully 10) featuring Sandra Bullock supplying her voice as  the world's first female supervillain.   Meledandri also previewed The Secret Life Of Pets, featuring the voices of Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Dana Carvey and Albert Brooks.

Director Chris Meledandri
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Ice Cube and Dr. Dre presented the extended Red Band trailer for the bio pic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, with Cube stating  he thought “no company would have balls to make the film”.

Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Director F. Gary Gray
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

On the horror side, director Guillermo del Toro, strolled on stage saying “That was a long walk for a fat man,”  before introducing a sneak peak at his gothic romance, CRIMSON PEAK (Oct. 16) Director M. Night Shyamalan and producer Jason Blum introduced footage from their new and original, gothic thriller THE VISIT (Sept.) which shows the frightening things that happen when a couple of kids visit their grandparents. “I am the biggest champion of the theatrical experience.  My goal was to create the loudest, funniest experience.”

Directors M. Night Shyamalan, Guillermo del Toro with Producer Jason Blum
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

Icelandic director Baltasar Kormaker (who was honored with CinemaCon's International Filmmaker Award at Monday's luncheon) introduced clips from EVEREST (in 3D, September 2015) based on the true story of hikers, played by Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jason Clarke,  who fight for survival when a storm strikes them while scaling the world's highest mountain. “I wanted it to be as authentic as possible, on a big scale and to create a spectacle that can only be watched in cinemas”, said Kormaker.

Baltasar Kormakur Lilja Kormakur 2015 CinemaCon 67827
Baltasar Kormakur and his wife Lilja Kormakur
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

And finally, co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow and star Chris Pratt presented a sizzle reel (or, as Pratt called it, "just the tip") from the much anticipated JURASSIC WORLD that showcased the terrifying, genetically engineered Indominus Rex.

Chris Pratt and Director Colin Trevorrow
Photo credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CinemaCon

CinemaCon 2015 concluded on Thursday evening, April 23, with the “Big Screen Achievement Awards” ceremony that was held in the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace.  Cohost for the evening’s event, which honored several actors and filmmakers with an award, was Billy Bush of Access Hollywood.

The first official CinemaCon honoree was Oscar winning actor Alan Arkin who was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The actor won an Oscar for best supporting actor in Little Miss Sunshine and has a career spanning over 50 years and more than 70 films. Arkin will be seen later this year in CBS Films/Lionsgate's “Love The Coopers”.

Alan Arkin 2015 CinemaCon 68118Alan Arkin
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Other award recipients were:

CinemaCon Vanguard Award: Julianna Moore. With an impressive career in over 60 feature films, Julianne Moore (Oscar winner for her performance in last year's Still Alice as a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease), can be seen in the upcoming releases of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2” and Lionsgate’s “Freeheld”.

Julianne Moore 2015 CinemaCon 68318
Julianne Moore
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Female Star of the Year  - Rose Byrne.  The talented Australian actress will be starring alongside Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law in the June 5 release of the hilarious comedy “Spy”, directed and produced by the CinemaCon Comedy Director of the Year Paul Feig.

Rose Byrne 2015 CinemaCon 68043
Rose Byrne
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Male Star of the Year - Paul Rudd. The actor can be seen in the recently released “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and takes the leading role in Marvel Studio’ upcoming release, “Ant-Man” and has finished filming “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving.

Paul Rudd 2015 CinemaCon 68229
Paul Rudd
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Comedy Star of the Year -Kevin Hart. The star of hits such as “The Wedding Ringer” and “Get Hard” will be seen early next year in Universal Pictures “Ride Along 2”.

Kevin Hart 2015 CinemaCon 68234
Kevin Hart
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year- Elizabeth Banks. The versatile actress makes her directorial debut and co-stars in the soon to be released “Pitch Perfect 2”. She can also be seen in the upcoming “Love & Mercy in the starring role, and makes an appearance in “Magic Mike XXL”, “Every Secret Thing”, and reprises her role as Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games: Mockingly - Part 2”

Elizabeth Banks 2015 CinemaCon 68292
Elizabeth Banks
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

2015 Star of Tomorrow - Britt Robertson. With an already impressive resume, this rising young star is being honored for her work in “Delivery Man”, “Cake”, “The First Time”, “Scream 4”, “The Family Tree”, “Dan In Real Life”, and “Mother and Child”. You can see her in 20th Century Fox’s recently released “The Longest Ride” with Scott Eastwood, and later this year in the upcoming release of Disney’s “Tomorrowland”.

Britt Robertson 2015 CinemaCon 68105
Britt Robertson
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Director of the Year - Francis Lawrence. The visionary director is known for his work in “Constantine”, “I Am Legend”, Water For Elephants” and The Hunger Games franchise films “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “The Hunger Games: Mockingly - Part 1”.  Up next is the upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingly - Part 2”

Francis Lawrence 2015 CinemaCon 68039
Francis Lawrence
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Comedy Filmmaker of the Year - Paul Feig. The director behind such hits as “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” wrote, directed, and produced the upcoming comedy “Spy”.

Paul Feig 2015 CinemaCon 68133
Paul Feig
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Breakthrough Performer of the Year - Amy Schumer. Known for her raunchy, off-color humor, the stand up comedienne turned actress is being recognized for her upcoming breakout role in this summer's upcoming comedy film, “Trainwreck” produced by Judd Apatow.

Amy Schumer 2015 CinemaCon 68168
Amy Schumer
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Rising Stars of 2014 - Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff. This year’s rising stars each have standout roles and are poised for stardom with their upcoming 20th Century Fox release of “Paper Towns”. Wolff has been seen in “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Palo Alto”. Delevingne made her film debut in “Anna Karenina” opposite Kiera Knightly.

Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff 2015 CinemaCon 68265
Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

CinemaCon Ensemble Award - Cast of “Fantastic Four”, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Miles Teller.   Each with their impressive acting resumes are being honored for their work in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four”.

Jamie Bell Michael B. Jordan Kate Mara Miles Teller 2015 CinemaCon 68186
Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, and Michael B. Jordan
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

That about does it for my coverage of CinemaCon 2015.  As they say in Hollywood, that's a wrap.




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