Another CinemaCon is in the books and, as usual, the major film studios brought out some of the best releases they have to offer through the rest of 2016 and beyond. The annual meeting of the exhibition industry has become a reliable way to learn which films could have an impact at the box office.
By the end of this year’s convention, we came away very encouraged by a number of films from every studio and their potential to help deliver another big year. It’s still questionable whether 2015’s record $11.1 billion domestic gross can be topped, but if enough of these films succeed critically and commercially—with a few unexpected hits along the way—we can’t rule out 2016’s chances to come close.
Here’s our breakdown of highlights from Sony’s CinemaCon 2016’s presentation:
Another Space Odyssey?
Sony came out swinging with the worldwide debut of footage from Passengers, a sci-fi/drama thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt and directed by The Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum. Even though it featured incomplete visual-effects work, the Kubrickian tone of several scenes drew high praise. In fact, Passengers remained one of the most buzzed-about films long after all the presentations were complete. With its massive star power and holiday release, the film should deliver on its early promise to become a major box office player.
Life of Billy
Ang Lee’s next feature, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, was another standout from the studio. Based on a true story, the emotional drama should play strongly with military families and casual audiences alike. This is Lee’s follow-up to Life of Pi, and with its holiday release the studio clearly expects both box office success and awards contention. We do, too.
Among other highlights from Sony were new footage from Paul Feig’s female-ensemble Ghostbusters, The Angry Birds Movie, the R-rated animation Sausage Fest from Seth Rogen and company, horror/thriller Don’t Breathe, and the next adaptation from Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon novels, Inferno, reuniting star Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard. Closing out their presentation, Sony announced that their upcoming 2017 Spider-Man film—produced in conjunction with Disney’s Marvel Studios—will be titled Spider-Man: Homecoming.