Walt Disney Studios Thrills 2023 CinemaCon
The Walt Disney Studios thrilled 2023 CinemaCon Convention attendees with an exclusive look at its upcoming theatrical slate. The company is celebrating 100 Years of Wonder as it enters its second century.
Alan Bergman, co-chairman Disney Entertainment and Tony Chambers, executive vice president and head of theatrical distribution, took to the Colosseum stage at Caesar’s Palace to share a look at the Studio’s upcoming exclusive theatrical releases, including casting news and content sneak peeks. This year, the Studio will be releasing films from all its famed production studios (Disney Live Action, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures) for the first time since 2019.
Bergman thanked exhibitors for their ongoing partnership and for helping make “Avatar: The Way of Water” a $2.3 billion global success. He then acknowledged Disney’s 100th anniversary and its legacy of iconic storytelling before turning the stage over to Chambers, who emphasized the singular experience of enjoying a great story in the cinema and guided the audience through a jam-packed presentation of must-see movies that will land in theaters over the next several months.
Up first, the audience was treated to an exclusive clip from Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which opens in the U.S. and Canada on May 5. The new installment is directed once again by James Gunn and features the all-star cast led by Chris Pratt. The brand-new trailer for “The Marvels,” opening November 10, was screened as well. The sequel to “Captain Marvel” stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Looking ahead to one of the most anticipated releases this holiday season, Chambers announced that Chris Pine (“Into the Woods,” “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”) has joined the voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Wish,” as King Magnifico opposite Academy Award® winner Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) as Asha. Blending beautiful watercolor style with groundbreaking CG animation, “Wish” is an original, animated musical adventure that draws inspiration from the classics to tell a story for the ages. An exclusive scene featuring “This Wish,” one of the film’s original songs performed by DeBose, was unveiled. “Wish” opens in theaters nationwide November 22.
Two-time Oscar® nominee Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), who plays Ursula in Disney Live Action’s reimagining of “The Little Mermaid,” joined Chambers onstage to introduce an exclusive first look at her performance of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the film. The actress is set to be honored with CinemaCon’s Cinema Véritê Award. “The Little Mermaid” is directed by Academy Award® nominee Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and features music by eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken (“Beauty and the Beast,’ “Aladdin”) and three-time Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights”). In addition to McCarthy, the film also stars Halle Bailey, Awkwafina, Tony winner Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”), and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”).
CinemaCon attendees were then treated to a special look at Disney Live Action’s “Haunted Mansion,” which highlighted the mythology and scope of the film. The beloved theme park attraction comes to life in a comically creepy adventure directed by Justin Simien that stars an ensemble cast featuring Lakeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto as the Hatbox Ghost. “Haunted Mansion” is set to thrill audiences when it hits theaters July 28.
Up next, 20 minutes of exclusive footage from Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” was screened in 3D for the audience. A story about finding connection, celebrating differences, and discovering your place in the world, “Elemental” features stunning visuals from the artists at Pixar, who continue to push the limits of both animation and technology. The film will premiere in its entirety at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival before opening in theaters nationwide June 16.
An exclusive reveal of the brand-new trailer from Searchlight Pictures’ “Next Goal Wins” was next. Directed by Academy Award® winner Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit,” “Thor: Ragnarok”), the film follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around in this heartfelt underdog comedy. In theaters November 17, 2023.
“A Haunting in Venice,” 20th Century Studios’ latest Agatha Christie adaptation from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), doesn’t hit theaters until September 15, but CinemaCon attendees were treated to the teaser trailer for the supernatural horror-thriller which features an all-star cast including Branagh, Tina Fey and recent Academy Award® winner Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).
The first footage from 20th Century Studios and New Regency’s “The Creator” was also screened exclusively in the room, showcasing the ambitious scope and cinematic visuals of the film. The epic sci-fi action thriller directed by Gareth Edwards (“Rogue One,” “Godzilla”) starring John David Washington (“Tenet”) and Gemma Chan (“Eternals”) opens in theaters September 29.
Chambers then shared a special greeting from the star of Lucasfilm’s eagerly awaited “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Harrison Ford, who introduced an action-packed clip just for CinemaCon. The film, which also stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen and is directed by James Mangold (“Ford v Ferrari”) will premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival before hitting theaters June 30.
The Studio closed out the presentation with an exclusive screening of 20th Century Studios’ “The Boogeyman” in DolbyVision and Dolby Atmos. The horror-thriller from the mind of Stephen King, which is directed by Rob Savage, opens in theaters June 2.
Thank you for reading this post.