Dubbed the “most important gathering of movie theater owners from around the world,” the annual CinemaCon event is a chance for movie companies to show off trailers and footage from their upcoming blockbusters.
What Happened: CinemaCon 2022 took place at Caesars Palace April 25-28 in Las Vegas and featured presentations and trailers from some of the most anticipated 2022 movies and some early announcements for 2023. Here are some of the key movies featured at the event.
Avatar Footage And Title: One of the most anticipated movies of 2022 and potentially all time is “Avatar 2,” the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 blockbuster that broke records. Footage for the sequel was shown at CinemaCon and had audience members wearing 3D glasses to see the full effect of the special effects the first movie was known for. The movie was also given the title “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
“We need to make sure (audiences) have an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and that needs to be exclusively in theaters,” producer Jon Landau said of the Avatar film.
The teaser trailer, which was unveiled at CinemaCon, will be shown exclusively in theaters before “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.”
“Avatar: The Way of Water” is scheduled for a Dec. 16 theatrical release. Landau also announced the first “Avatar” movie will be re-released in theaters on Sept. 23, 2022, with improved picture and sound.
“Avatar” is the highest grossing film worldwide of all time, with over $2.8 billion. The movie also remains in the top five domestic releases of all time despite lower ticket prices in 2009.
While Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) has a strong slate of blockbuster movies across its namesake brand, Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel franchises, its acquisition of 20th Century Fox gave it the Avatar franchise, which has more films planned. Disney has also integrated the Avatar franchise into its theme parks, with a Pandora area and rides at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
There are plans for four sequels to Avatar, taking the franchise to five total movies, and providing huge monetizable opportunities for Disney to grow the franchise into its large media ecosystem. Sequels are planned to be released theatrically in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028.
The Batman: The highest grossing movie of 2022 is “The Batman” from Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD). A sequel to the movie was officially announced at CinemaCon with news that Robert Pattinson would return with director Matt Reaves. The movie has grossed over $750 million worldwide and has also been watched by 4.1 million households on HBO Max.
The movie was a key piece for Warner Bros. as its first big blockbuster movie released in theaters in years after previously releasing movies in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. The announcement of a sequel shows the company’s big bet on this version of the Batman franchise, with a spinoff series centered on the Penguin character from “The Batman” coming to HBO Max.
More Hunger Games: One of the most successful movie franchises of the 2010s is set to return in 2023 with the announcement that the prequel book “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is coming to big screens courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGFA)(NYSE:LGFB). The movie is set for a release date of Nov. 17, 2023, following a similar launch window that the original movies saw around the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Hunger Games movie franchise has grossed over $1.4 billion domestically. The second movie in the four-part series was the highest grossing, as the series saw a bit of a drop for the last two movies, released in 2014 and 2015. A theatrical release for the franchise each year for four straight years helped boost the revenue and stock price for Lions Gate and could put the media stock in the spotlight for 2023.
John Wick Returns: Another Lions Gate franchise got the spotlight at CinemaCon with Keanu Reeves presenting live and discussing “John Wick: Chapter 4.” The franchise has gained in popularity and box office success over the years, and the fourth movie set for a March 24, 2023 release could be a box office hit. A trailer for the movie was shown off at CinemaCon providing an early look.
“That’s how John Wick became more than a beloved franchise – a singular experience and a cultural phenomenon. An original story with no pre-existing fanbase that made it to the big screen, bringing audiences rushing back to the theater for a fourth time,” a Lions Gate executive said.
Tom Cruise: Actor Tom Cruise was prominent at CinemaCon with a screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” from Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA)(NASDAQ:PARAA) getting positive reactions from the event ahead of a May 27 theatrical release date.
The Mission: Impossible franchise, which stars Cruise, was also featured at CinemaCon. The latest movie in the franchise got an announced title, “Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning – Part 1.” The movie is set to be released in theaters on July 14, 2023. An eighth movie for the franchise is scheduled for a June 28, 2024 release as well.
While Cruise didn’t appear at CinemaCon in person to promote the new movie, he recorded a message from atop a biplane that was shown to the audience.
“Sorry for the extra noise, as you can see, we are filming the latest installment of ‘Mission: Impossible,’ making this film for the big screen in your wonderful theaters,” Cruise said in the video.
Jurassic World: One of the most anticipated movies of 2022 is "Jurassic World Dominion." Footage from the movie was shown at CinemaCon for the film that has a release date of June 10.
The Jurassic World team has been using events like CinemaCon to highlight the upcoming blockbuster, with a presentation at last year’s CinemaCon and a presentation at the SXSW festival in 2022.
The two previous Jurassic World movies released in 2015 and 2018 each grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and helped boost the financial profile of parent company Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA).
Movie Theaters: Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE:AMC), highlighted the slate from CinemaCon in a tweet and mentioned how strong the lineup of movies is over the next three years. With moviegoers returning to theaters post COVID-19 pandemic, events like CinemaCon and movie trailers can build hype and help media companies and movie theater companies predict a recovery in theatrical revenue.
I just was with filmmakers at the annual CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Starting next week, a cavalcade of fabulous movies come to AMC. Over the next 3 months: Dr Strange, Downton Abbey, Top Gun Maverick, Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear, Elvis, Minions, Nope, Bullet Train and more. pic.twitter.com/BLcXBq6TF4— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) April 29, 2022