Monday, May 6, 2013

CinemaCon 2013 Pt. 2

My CinemaCon 2013 Pt. 1 post concluded with our Tuesday night screening of The Heat starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.  So now we jump into Wednesday!  

We started the day with a seminar on "Meeting the Expectations of Today's Savvy Moviegoer".  Not to toot our own horn, but we already have a lot of their ideas in place.  They focused a lot on community involvement, doing specialty screenings for local organizations, and becoming a vibrant gathering space.  We did take away some new ideas, and look forward to continuing to grow in this area in the coming months.

Next came one of the presentations I was most looking forward to, Disney.  I am a sucker for Pixar films and couldn't wait for our screening of Monsters University, which did not disappoint.  They also presented the following titles The Lone Ranger (which looked fantastic & Johnny Depp made an appearance), Planes (opening Aug. 9th), Delivery Man (starring Vince Vaughn & opening in October), Thor: The Dark World (opening in November), Frozen (opening Thanksgiving weekend), and finishing the year with Saving Mr. Banks starring Tom Hanks.  Saving Mr. Banks is the story of how Mary Poppins made it to the big screen. 

Following the studio presentation, we were off to the Filmmakers' Luncheon, which featured Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, and Oliver Stone. They discussed the horror genre of films, and how they grew up loving movies.  This is becoming one of my favorite highlights each year at CinemaCon.

This lead us into the Sony Pictures studio presentation.  They kicked off their presentation with After Earth starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, which opens May 31st.  On June 14th, This is the End, starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, "follows 6 friends trapped inside a house after a series of strange events devastate Los Angeles".  They also have White House Down (opening June 28th), Grown Ups 2 (opening July 12th & they brought out the whole cast!), The Smurfs 2 (opening July 31st), Elysium starring Matt Damon (opening August 9th), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (opening August 23rd), and The Monuments Men (opening December 18th).  In 2014 they will bring us RoboCop, The Equalizer, Popeye, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2!  

Our final day, Thursday, included 2 studio presentations, and the final night Achievement Awards.  The first presentation was from 20th Century Fox.  Their summer kicks off with the animated film Epic (opening May 24th), The Internship starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (opening June 7th), The Heat (two thumbs up from us! opening June 28th), Turbo (opening July 17th), The Wolverine (opening July 26th),  and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (opening August 7th).  The next presentation was from the studio that brought you The Hunger Games, Lionsgate.  They kick off their summer season with Now You See Me starring Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Mark Ruffalo.  Now You See Me is about a team of illusionists in a cat and mouse game with the FBI, and opens on May 31st.  The rest of their year includes Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain opening July 3rd (Kevin Hart emceed their presentation), Red 2 (opening July 19th), You're Next (opening August 23rd), Escape Plan (opening September 27th), and Ender's Game (opening November 1st).  This brings us to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which opens November 23rd.  I don't know about you, but November 23rd can't get here soon enough.  They also round out the holiday season with Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas which opens on December 13th.  

Now on to my favorite part, the awards show, but first my funny story about meeting Elizabeth Banks.  I knew she was receiving an award that night for "Award of Excellence in Acting" and my goal was to meet her.  Before the awards started, I headed towards the women's restroom, and guess who I see washing her hands?!  I go straight to the sink and wash my hands next to her and let her know I love her.  Most people may think it is weird to say that to someone you don't know, but I really do love her.  She told me she loved me back, so that was good enough for me! 
The award honorees were as follows: 
Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year- Joseph Gordon- Levitt
Breakthrough Performer of the Year- Aubrey Plaza
Cinema Icon Award- Morgan Freeman
Male Star of Tomorrow- Armie Hammer
Female Star of Tomorrow- Hailee Steinfeld
Director of the Year- Justin Lin
Rising Star of 2013- Asa Butterfield
Award of Excellence in Acting- Elizabeth Banks
Comedy Duo of the Year- Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn
Lifetime Achievement Award- Harrison Ford
Male Star of the Year- Chris Pine
Female Star of the Year- Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy

Chris Pine

Harrison Ford
Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson
Elizabeth Banks
Asa Butterfield
Hailee Steinfeld
Morgan Freeman
Aubrey Plaza

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CinemaCon 2013 Pt. 1

Last week we attended CinemaCon, our annual industry convention in Las Vegas, which is held at Caesar's Palace ("Do you know if the hotel is pager friendly?"). I am sure some of you kept up with us on Twitter or our Facebook page, but this will give you a little more detail of what and who we saw.  

Monday night kicked off the convention with a presentation from Paramount Pictures, followed by a screening of their movie Pain and Gain (opening this Thursday at 9pm).  J.J. Abrams wasn't able to attend to help promote Star Trek Into Darkness because he is working on finishing the film, but they brought out members of the cast including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Alice Eve and John Cho.  We got to see about 20 minutes of the film, and the general consensus was everyone can't wait to see more!  Next, we got to see a trailer for World War Z starring Brad Pitt, who made an unexpected appearance.  He discussed how difficult it was making this movie and making sure they live up to the book.  We then got to see some additional footage, and it had all of us on the edge of our seats. World War Z will open on June 21st.  Their presentation concluded with a video of Dwayne Johnson and Mark Walhberg introducing Michael Bay, who made an appearance to introduce his film Pain and Gain.  Bay said he has been working on this movie for 12 years, and only on a $25 million budget.  Based on a true story, Walhberg and Johnson's characters get involved in an extortion scheme which takes a turn for the worse.  Get your tickets here for Thursday's 9pm or midnight shows.

Tuesday morning started off with the Universal Pictures presentation.  To get things going they start with Fast and the Furious 6 which opens on May 24th.  They brought out the whole cast including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Tyrese.  Diesel announced the next installment will be coming to theatres in July 2014.  He said they have been planning 2-3 movies ahead, and once we see the ending of this one, we will understand why the next one will be here next summer.  We got to see a little bit of Despicable Me 2, which opens on July 3rd, and it won't disappoint!  The rest of their lineup includes R.I.P.D., 2 Guns, Kick-Ass 2, Riddick, Rush, About Time, The Best Man Holiday, and 47 Ronin.    

Warner Brothers was next on Tuesday afternoon with their presentation of 2013 films, and they have quite the lineup.  They start off the summer season with The Great Gatsby 3D  on May 10th, for which Baz Luhrmann introduced a trailer via a taped video.  This film not only looks beautiful, but the 3D is stunning.  Bill and Colleen are lucky enough to be able to attend the premiere of the film next week in New York City!  Following Gatsby, they take off with The Hangover Part III which opens on May 24th.  Todd Philips stepped out on stage and said "comedies should be seen in theaters where everyone can laugh together."  Next up they have Man of Steel 3D, set to open June 14th.  Director Zack Snyder introduced the newest trailer (Producer Christopher Nolan was in the audience, but enjoyed the trailer from his seat).  Guillermo Del Toro came out next to talk about his film Pacific Rim 3D opening on July 12th.  While talking about his excitement for the film he said  "Several times a week I find myself smiling like a goddamned moron”.  Their presentation ended with footage from The Conjuring, 300: Rise of an Empire 3D, We're the Millers, Prisoners, Gravity 3D, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D.

To conclude our Tuesday evening, we got treated to a full length screening of The Heat from 20th Century Fox.  Director Paul Feig was there to introduce the film, and also mentioned he is from Michigan.  Colleen was able to talk to him following the screening and he grew up not far from Bill and Colleen!  The Heat stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock and they play a police officer and an FBI agent respectively, who don't get along the greatest. To say we loved this movie is an understatement.  I am pretty sure I was crying I was laughing so hard.  The Heat opens June 28th.

I will post Part 2 next week which will include more studio presentations and the awards night!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free Family Flicks Winter Series

The time has come for another Free Family Flicks series!  We are excited to be able to continue again this year with some great sponsors who were able to make this happen.

This year we are continuing to collect canned goods/non-perishable items for Together.  If you aren't familiar with their work, check our their website to see all they do.  Our other partners are Enterprise Bank with locations on 128th & Center and on Regency Parkway, Jones Bros Cupcakes, Ponzu Sushi & Grill, & Learning HQ all in Aksarben Village.  Each week customers will need to pick up tickets for the weekend from one of the businesses listed above.  Tickets will be available on Monday each week for that week's movies.  


This is a great opportunity to check out a new business to see what they have to offer!  From personal experience, I can tell you Jones Bros has to die for cupcakes and great teas, Ponzu has great salads and sushi, Learning HQ has great educational toys and books, and Enterprise Bank has the nicest tellers and bank staff.  

Details for the Series:  It will be every Saturday and Sunday starting January 26th.  The  movies will start at 11 am and the doors will open at 10:30 am.  Seating is offered on a first come, first served basis and a ticket does not guarantee a seat.

January 26 & 27- Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

February 2 & 3- Ice Age: Continental Drift

February 9 & 10- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

February 16 & 17- Hotel Transylvania

February 23 & 24- The Lorax

For more information, check our our website for Aksarben Cinema.