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Disney Shows 27 Minutes of ‘Finding Dory’ — And Other Reasons Why Rivals Are Jealous

Disney Shows 27 Minutes of 'Finding Dory' -- And Other Reasons Why Rivals Are Jealous

Let STX have Matthew McConaughey while Warners touts Will Smith. When you’ve got Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: Rogue One,” Pixar’s “Finding Dory” and Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” who needs live movie stars?

At Disney’s CinemaCon presentation, distribution chief Dave Hollis ballyhooed Disney’s banner year that was led by the record-breaking $2 billion global blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” along with 2016 animated sleeper “Zootopia,” which is heading toward the $900 million mark worldwide. And expectations are high for Jon Favreau’s well-reviewed live-action CGI hybrid “The Jungle Book” this weekend, which has already scored overseas. 

Disney showed that it’s poised to continue that winning streak by showing CinemaCon attendees the first 27 minutes of Andrew Stanton’s sequel “Finding Dory”—which left the crowd wanting more—as well as Marvel’s Phase Three “Captain America: Civil War” (May 6, 2016).

Marvel has released 12 films in the last 8 years yielding $9 billion to date, including recent Phase Two entries “Captain America: Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Ant-Man,” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Also coming in 2016 is Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” (November 4), starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and the inimitable Tilda Swinton as the Yoda-like mentor who initiates the mangled neurosurgeon into new and magical wonders in Nepal.

Disney screened the trailer that debuted Tuesday night at the “Civil War” world premiere in LA and on Jimmy Kimmel. “Black Panther” (Chadwick Boseman), who is introduced in “Civil War” (along with Tom Holland as young Peter Parker/”Spider-Man”), will have a standalone movie in 2018. The Hulk will return in “Thor: Ragnarak” in 2017. And way down the pike in 2019 is “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” 

Writer-director Stanton did come in person to introduce the “Finding Dory” footage (our preview is here), which has consumed him for the four years after he saw “Finding Nemo” again and was inspired to dig into the character of the blue tang (Ellen DeGeneres) with short-term memory loss and her search for her parents (Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy). Suffice it to say that a bit with new voice cast members Idris Elba and Dominic West as sea lions was hilarious. 

Most of the Colosseum folks had already seen the trailer for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which will run ahead of “Captain America: Civil War.” But the exhibitors did get to see it on the big screen, along with the latest trailer for Steven Spielberg’s wondrous-looking Roald Dahl fantasy adaptation “The BFG,” written by the late “E.T.” scribe Melissa Mathison, about an androgynous orphan who is scooped up by an animated giant (“Bridge of Spies” Oscar-winner Mark Rylance). 

Disney does well with its live-action fairy tales such as “Maleficent” and “Cinderella” and expects the “Alice Through the Looking Glass” sequel (May 27, 2016) and “Beauty and the Beast” (March 17, 2017) to score in the same $700 million global ballpark. And I can’t wait to see what indie stalwart David Lowery does with the live-action “Pete’s Dragon” (August 12). 

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