CinemaCon is nearly upon us, and we’re keeping an eye on the films with the most awards potential. The annual convention takes place this year from April 24 to April 27th in Las Vegas. It’s an important event for the film industry, and Hollywood sends top talent and offerings to help showcase the goods. The event helps to generate excitement for upcoming movies and to build anticipation for the box office. We’re not there this year, but we have a good idea of what to expect at the presentations and will be following along online.
Franchise films get audiences in theaters, so naturally, they are of great interest to the theater owner attendees at CinemaCon. They’re typically rolled out with a lot of fanfare. Just look at the hoopla surrounding last year’s Academy Award-winning Top-Gun: Maverick, where the full screening delighted the cinema representatives.
The Flash is the most anticipated franchise movie expected to screen in full at CinemaCon. It’s the second movie out of DC Studios under newly minted heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. The film is slated to have its world premiere at the Vegas event ahead of its eventual wide release on June 16, 2023. Directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Christina Hodson, the movie has been mired in controversy because of its lead, Ezra Miller, and their troubling behavior, including some that have resulted in arrests.
The fact that Warner Brothers has chosen to move forward with the film despite all the controversy is significant. (Especially when you consider that the studio made the much-maligned decision to scrap completed movies such as Batgirl in the name of a tax write-off.) Because of that, chatter and speculation have identified the movie as having strong box-office potential. If the film is that strong, it may have awards potential, including perhaps a nomination for Visual Effects.
On Wednesday morning, Disney will celebrate 100 years and have a panel at CinemaCon. Since Melissa McCarthy will be in Vegas to receive the Cinema Vérité Award, we may get another look at the upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. The highly-anticipated film stars Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, and McCarthy. The animated film was Academy Award-winning, and it’s a good bet that this one could end up nominated in several categories, too.
The tenth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, Fast X, is expected to be part of the Universal Pictures presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday night. It’s unclear if there will be a full screening or just a third trailer. The high-octane movie with the family at its core is directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Justin Lin and Dan Mazeau, with story also by Zach Dean. With every Fast and the Furious release, there’s awards chatter. Or at least Vin Diesel talks about it in his interviews. If the movie has awards potential, it will likely be in the Visual Effects category.
Paramount Pictures will be at CinemaCon on Thursday, pulling out all the stops as they introduce another Mission: Impossible movie. Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One will have some rollout. Chatter online, fueled by an Instagram post by director Christopher McQuarrie, is coalescing around the idea that we will get a shiny new MI7 trailer. If so, we’ll surely see stars Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell in some death-defying stunts. The Mission: Impossible franchise has never been nominated for an Academy Award, but we think film number seven is its lucky number and are rating it as having potential for Film Editing or Sound.
Franchise films at CinemaCon are not the only ones with awards potential. And indeed, the Academy Awards nominations aren’t typically dominated by franchises. Ahead of CinemaCon, several other splashy films have garnered a lot of excitement, and they’ll be there in Sin City, too.
Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig and written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, trended on just about every social media platform after the recent release of the new trailer. Feeds were dominated by folks transforming their selfies into Barbies, and we witnessed the birth of a new meme in real-time. The movie, which has Barbie venture off into the human land, has a star-studded cast, including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. It just looks like pure fun with a lot of pink. The Tuesday morning Warner Brothers panel will likely include more Barbie sneak peeks. This movie has potential for the Best Actress category and numerous others.
Killers of the Flower Moon is the new Martin Scorsese picture and a potential awards juggernaut. Scorsese will be at the Vegas event to receive a “Legend of Cinema Award” at a sit-down lunch, and we would be surprised if he doesn’t bring a sneak peek with him. The movie reportedly has a run time of 3 hours and 26 minutes and will have a world premiere at Cannes. It’s a period piece from 1920 and deals with the serial murders of Osage tribal members in Oklahoma. The western crime drama’s cast is legendary in its own right – including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Brendan Fraser. This movie will undoubtedly be nominated in several categories.
Oppenheimer is another movie with immense awards potential that can be expected to be seen at CinemaCon. The latest Christopher Nolan film is set to come out in July, interestingly on the same day as Barbie. The film is a historical epic and tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the brilliant physicist who led the Manhattan Project and created the atomic bomb. Cillian Murphy stars in the movie as the lead, along with a supporting cast that includes the likes of Emily Blunt, Robert Downey, Jr., Benny Safdie, and Florence Pugh, to name a few. Nolan and Emma Thomas, who are married, will jointly receive the NATO Spirit of the Industry Award at CinemaCon. They’re also behind Oppenheimer and may bring a preview with them when Universal Pictures has its panel on Wednesday. Like Killers of the Flower Moon, Oppenheimer will most likely be nominated in multiple categories.
Sony Pictures will also be at CinemaCon on Monday. While they are expected to bring a lot of franchise movies to their presentation, they do have one upcoming release that’s already been buzzed about by awards watchers. Napoleon, the Ridley Scott picture starring Joaquin Phoenix, is a war movie that looks at Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power. From the single teaser image released, it promises to be a visually stunning portrait of a complex and fascinating figure. If Sony debuts anything, Napoleon, it will undoubtedly get much attention.
We’ll have to wait until later this week to get confirmation on what premieres and news will be revealed, but we’re certain that there will definitely be films that show up at CinemaCon that we’ll see at the Oscars.
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