New Jack City: Unraveling Sin City Cinema’s Great Movie Week

I’ve just returned from CinemaCon-Las Vegas, the world’s largest annual movie convention and I’m still trying to sort out an objective view of the Industry…

An industry which incidentally is up almost 20% in ticket sales over the first quarter of 2011, I might add. And one that beginning Friday with MARVELS-THE AVENGERS, will be hit-bound almost weekly through Labor Day weekend.
There are so many convention highlights to touch on—which I will in future columns—but here are just a few.

Jeremy Renner‘s got a huge summer ahead of him. Not only does he co-star as Hawkey in Disney’s tentpole MARVELS-THE AVENGERS later this week, he takes over the BOURNE franchise from Matt Damon August 3.

In the press room I asked Renner whether he was going to be in the Bourne reboot for the long run?
"You mean, did I sign on beyond THE BOURNE LEGACY?" he told me. "I did. But that doesn’t mean another one gets made. That’ll depend on how BOURNE LEGACY performs

And judging by the new BOURNE footage shown at CinemaCon, there’ll be more to come. Count on it.
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Did producer Judd Apatow and company fully recognize what they had while filming BRIDESMAIDS?
Not really.
Apatow told me that it wasn’t until the incredible audience reactions they experienced at the early test screenings that visions of a mega-hit entered their minds.
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Speaking of BRIDESMAIDS, scream-hottie Anna Faris of Scary Movie infamy told me that she credits the all-girl comedy hit with opening the doors to more racy, R-rated roles for women—especially in raunchy comedies. That up until the smash success of BRIDESMAIDS, major studios preferred female-based comedies to stay within the safer bounds of the PG-13 rating.
Faris was at CinemaCon promoting her co-starring role in Sacha Baron Cohen’s THE DICTATOR on May 16.
(More about Cohen’s surprise appearance at CinemaCon soon.)
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Peter Jackson showed advance footage of his eagerly awaited THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY due December 14—to unexpected CONTROVERSY.
Here’s the deal.
Jackson didn’t film the movie in the standard 24 frames per second format, choosing instead to shoot it at 48 frames per second.

It goes without saying that the faster the frames per second ratio, the sharper the picture.
Therein lies the controversy.
Purists amongst conventioneers felt that the Hobbit was too clear – too crisp for its own (film feel) good.
Guess you can’t please everyone.
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Talk about opposites.
There they were. Charleze Theron and Kristen Stewart standing next to each other on behalf of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN opening June 1st. Theron tall, outspoken and balls to the wall and Stewart short (by comparison) introverted, and quiet.
God, how I’d like to have been sandwiched inbetween those two….

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Speaking of total weirdness, there they were…
An almost silent Johnny Depp with Tim Burton on behalf of DARK SHADOWS opening May 11.
Each of them is a total talent, but seeing them together first hand—let’s just say they both appeared to be marching to a different drummer…and that’s a GOOD THING!
Depp also promoted his upcoming role as Tonto in Disney’s THE LONE RANGER set for Memorial Day Weekend of 2013.
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Funniest advance clips previewed last week at CinemaCon?
TED co-starring Mark Wahlberg, a horny, come-to-life teddy bear and Mila Kunis who’s even hotter in person. TED debuts July 13.
And the political laff-riot THE CAMPAIGN with Will Farrell, Zach Galifianakis and K.C.’s Jason Sudeikis spoofing real life, beginning August 10.
I could go on—and will in my next entry,

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