CinemaCon, NATO's annual exhibitor conference in Las Vegas, is shaping up. Starting April 23, CinemaCon will draw more than 5,000 global theater owners (from major chains to mom and pop theaters) as well as all six studios and a wide range of indies looking to promote their upcoming slates. CinemaCon's goal this year, especially, is to promote the moviegoing experience that seems under increasing duress.
I look forward to moderating a panel, organized by conference manager Mitch Neuhauser, to dig into the state of things with savvy vets representing different sides of the film industry: Sony's Jeff Blake, Alamo's Tim League, Regal Cinemas' Amy Miles, producer Neil Moritz and IMAX's Greg Foster.
During the ramp-up to the convention, CinemaCon announces the various award-winners for their closing night event on Thursday April 26 at the Caesar's Palace Coloseum. Accepting awards this year are "Bourne Legacy" and "The Avengers" star Jeremy Renner (Male Star of the Year), "Prometheus" star Charlize Theron (Star of the Decade), "Dark Shadows" star Michelle Pfeiffer (Cinema Icon), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Action Star of the Year), "John Carter" and "Battleship" star Taylor Kitsch (Male Star of Tomorrow), DreamWorks Animation Czar Jeffrey Katzenberg (Pioneer of the Year) as well as prolific writer-director-producer Judd Apatow (Excellence in Filmmaking), who is finally returning to screens with a film he directed on December 21, Universal's "This is 40."
CinemaCon's trade show partners this year are the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) and National Association of Concessionaires (NAC). The trade show is always revelatory–that's where I learned that each theatre chain affiliates with either Pepsi or Coca Cola, which this year is Cinemacon's official presenting sponsor.