CinemaCon 2016 Studio Presentations: UNIVERSAL

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 studio-by-studio breakdown of highlights from CinemaCon 2016’s presentations:

Bourne Is Back

Universal chose to focus on a specific section of its upcoming slate during this year’s presentation. The highlight was the exclusive debut of a full Jason Bourne trailer. If there was any doubt that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass could recapture the action-packed thrills of their previous work in the franchise, it was overcome by the end. This looks to be a significant box office performer on opening weekend in late July, and with strong reviews it could potentially challenge The Bourne Ultimatum’s status as the series’ top earner.

Fully Illuminated

Another highlight was The Secret Life of Pets, the next original concept from Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio behind Despicable Me and Minions. The teaser has already been playing strongly to audiences in theaters since last year, and the latest footage increased our expectations for this to become their next breakout hit. With a hilarious concept and an ensemble voice cast featuring the great Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart, four-quadrant appeal is virtually guaranteed.

Illumination also screened the opening scenes of Sing, another original film slated for release this Christmas. Musical lovers and audiences that propelled the likes of Into the Woods into holiday-hit status should turn out for this one. It features an ensemble voice cast led by Matthew McConaughey.

Also Notable

Kevin Hart debuted the trailer for his next comedy concert film, Kevin Hart: What Now? to positive reactions. Another highlight was the trailer debut of The Girl on the Train, adapted from the bestselling novel. That title is aiming for Gone Girl–like success with its October release, and the first footage definitely looks promising.

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