CinemaCon 2024: Universal Goes Big on WICKED, TWISTERS, and More

Universal returned to CinemaCon with another diverse slate for audiences, showcasing titles across various genres for what promises to be another strong year for the studio. The success of Oppenheimer and Super Mario Bros. catapulted Universal to the top spot among domestic distributors in 2023, a feat it plans to repeat this year. Here’s our recap of Universal’s CinemaCon 2024 slate presentation:

Despicable Me 4 | July 3, 2024

The Despicable Me series and its Minions spin-off have proven to be one of Universal’s most successful franchises since 2010. The latest entry in the Despicable Me franchise welcomes new additions to its voice cast, including Will Ferrel, Sofia Vergara, Joey King, Stephen Colbert, and Chloe Fineman. Universal unveiled an extended sequence from the animated film that received a warm reception from the CinemaCon audience.

Twisters | July 19, 2024

Coming 28 years after the release of the original Twister, this sequel introduces a new team of storm chasers in what promises to be another big-screen spectacle for audiences. Glenn Powell headlines the film’s cast in a role that could catapult the actor as an A-List leading man should the film break out at the box office. The footage showcased at CinemaCon was promising, making Twisters a natural PLF play for exhibitors—particularly for those with immersive seating auditoriums. 

Wolf Man | January 17, 2025

Universal’s deep roots in the horror genre were on display at CinemaCon 2024, where the studio announced a new sequel to last year’s hit, Five Night at Freddy’s. While there was nothing beyond an announcement of the Five Nights sequel, the CinemaCon crowd did get to see an early look at footage from Wolf Man, which recently vacated its October 2024 release and moved to January of next year. A first look at footage of the film situates Wolf Man closer along the lines of its 2020 adaptation of The Invisible Man, giving this horror classic update a more grounded and contemporary tone. 

Speak No Evil | September 13, 2024

Universal will release this remake of the 2022 Danish horror title to theaters in September of this year. A Blumhouse production, the film will target a wide audience for a source material that elicited glowing reviews during the original film’s festival run and limited theatrical release. 

The Wild Robot | September 20, 2024

Coming to theaters this September from the Dreamworks Animation label, The Wild Robot looks to continue Universal’s success with animated family titles. Based on a popular book series, The Wild Robot has a built-in audience but will rely on positive word-of-mouth to deliver strong returns for exhibitors. 

Wicked | November 27, 2024

Universal’s two-part big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Wicked has the potential of being a massive hit or a serious let-down. Musicals have had an uneasy time at the box office, increasing the pressure for the first half of the Wicked saga to perform well enough to retain interest for Part 2, scheduled to hit theaters a year later. Universal showcased footage from the film, which should continue appealing well to fans of the musical. Success won’t come with fans alone, as Universal’s marketing campaign will ramp up in the coming months to reach a general audience ahead of the film’s Thanksgiving release.

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