CinemaCon, The National Association of Theatre Owners annual confab in Las Vegas, will be host some 5000 exhibitors from April 15-18, 2013 at Caesars Palace. NATO represents more than 30,000 American movie screens and more cinemas in 57 countries worldwide, from the giant theater chains to mom and pops. It has not been a strong year for stateside theaters thus far; many are struggling.
This year CinemaCon will give their life achievement award on closing night, April 18, to Harrison Ford, whose latest film, Lionsgate/Summit’s sci-fi epic “Ender’s Game,” opens November 1. He is also expected to turn up in the newest J.J. Abrams/Michael Arndt iteration of “Star Wars” with other members of George Lucas’s original cast. In April, Ford will be seen in Legendary Entertainment’s “42” as Branch Rickey, the Major League Baseball executive who helped shatter baseball’s color barrier by making Jackie Robinson the first African-American player in the MLB. And this fall, Ford will star in the Robert Luketic thriller “Paranoia.”
At CinemaCon, studios and independents showcase their upcoming wares–especially their summer blockbusters– via presentations and sizzle reels. Last year we saw early footage of “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi” and “The Great Gatsby,” among other things. And the theater owners check out the latest trends in concession candy and drinks and exhibition hardware. Will there be any 35 mm projectors on display? No, it’s a digital world after all.