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Highlights From Walt Disney Studios’ Upcoming Theatrical Slate at 2024 Cinemacon

The Walt Disney Studios dazzled attendees at the 2024 CinemaCon® Convention in Las Vegas earlier today. The studio provided an exclusive look at its upcoming theatrical releases, including films from some of its famed production studios: Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, 20th Century Studios, and Searchlight Pictures.

Alan Bergman, co-chairman of Disney Entertainment, took to the stage at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace to speak about the power of the theatrical film experience and the upcoming flow of exceptional cinematic events Disney will be delivering to theaters in the coming months before turning the microphone over to Tony Chambers, executive vice president and head of theatrical distribution.

Chambers thanked the members of the exhibition trade industry in attendance and kicked off the Studio’s presentation with 13 minutes of thrilling footage from the highly anticipated all-new action-adventure spectacle from 20th Century Studios, “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” which opens in theaters nationwide on May 10. Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously, and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all he has known about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike.

Next up was Disney’s “Young Woman and the Sea,” the extraordinary true story of Trudy Ederle, the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel, which comes to theaters nationwide in a special engagement on May 31. Chambers tossed to a taped greeting from legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who then introduced the brand-new trailer featuring Daisy Ridley as the accomplished swimmer born to immigrant parents in New York City in 1905. Through the steadfast support of her older sister and supportive trainers, she overcame adversity and animosity to rise through the ranks of the Olympic swimming team and complete the staggering achievement – a 21-mile trek from France to England. CinemaCon attendees were the first to see the trailer.

Disney/Pixar Inside Out 2 Poster Cropped

Chambers welcomed Emmy Award®- and Golden Globe Award®-winning actor Amy Poehler to the stage. Poehler, who returns to cinemas as the voice of Joy in Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” and who is receiving this year’s CinemaCon Vanguard award at the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony, spoke about the film, which is a return to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley just as Headquarters is undergoing a sudden demolition to make room for something entirely unexpected: new Emotions! Joy, Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Tony Hale), and Disgust (voice of Liza Lapira), who’ve long been running a successful operation by all accounts, aren’t sure how to feel when Anxiety (voice of Maya Hawke) shows up. And it looks like she’s not alone: enter Envy (voice of Ayo Edebiri), Ennui (voice of Adèle Exarchopoulos), and Embarrassment (voice of Paul Walter Hauser). “Inside Out 2” is directed by Kelsey Mann and produced by Mark Nielsen.

CinemaCon attendees were then treated to the first 35 minutes of the animated film, which opens in theaters June 14.

 

Looking ahead to two of the most anticipated upcoming releases, Chambers brought Kevin Feige, producer and president of Marvel Studios, to the stage, who, in turn, welcomed Cap himself, Anthony Mackie, to talk about Marvel Studios’ “Captain America: Brave New World.” Mackie offered up a little behind-the-scenes insight before introducing a first look at the film, which hits theaters on February 14, 2025. Directed by Julius Onah, produced by Feige and Nate Moore, and executive produced by Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, and Mackie, “Captain America: Brave New World” also stars Danny Ramirez, Carl Lumbly, Shira Haas, with Tim Blake Nelson, and Harrison Ford.

Deadpool & Wolverine Image 1

Feige then spoke about Marvel Studios’ “Deadpool & Wolverine” and introduced Shawn Levy, the film’s director. The filmmaker, who is receiving CinemaCon’s Director of the Year award at the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony, thrilled the audience with an exclusive look at the film, which stars Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, and Matthew Macfadyen. Kevin Feige, Ryan Reynolds, Shawn Levy and Lauren Shuler Donner produce with Louis D’Esposito, Wendy Jacobson, Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, George Dewey and Simon Kinberg serving as executive producers. “Deadpool & Wolverine” is written by Ryan Reynolds & Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick & Zeb Wells & Shawn Levy. “Deadpool & Wolverine” opens in theaters July 26.

Alien: Romulus Image
Xenomorph in 20th Century Studios’ ALIEN: ROMULUS. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2024 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Chambers then shared a special greeting from “Alien: Romulus” producer Ridley Scott and director/writer Fede Alvarez, who thanked exhibitors for their ongoing partnership and their support of the “Alien” franchise over the past 45 years and introduced a special look at the upcoming film, a truly terrifying cinematic experience opening in theaters August 16. 20th Century Studios’ “Alien: Romulus” takes the phenomenally successful “Alien” franchise back to its roots: While scavenging the deep ends of a derelict space station, a group of young space colonizers come face to face with the most terrifying life form in the universe.

Searchlight Pictures' Kinds of Kindness Logo

Up next was Searchlight Pictures, which recently released “Poor Things,” the winner of four Academy Awards® last month and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. On June 21, “Kinds of Kindness,” which will premiere this summer at the Cannes Film Festival, opens exclusively in theaters—directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, the film stars recent Oscar® winner Emma Stone, who is joined by Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, and Hunter Schafer. The film is a triptych fable, following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife, who was missing at sea, has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.

The first footage from 20th Century Studios’ “The Amateur” was then screened exclusively in the room. The film, an action-packed espionage thriller directed by James Hawes and starring Oscar® winner Rami Malek, Rachel Brosnahan, Caitriona Balfe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Holt McCallany, Julianne Nicholson, Adrian Martinez, and Laurence Fishburne, opens in theaters nationwide on April 11, 2025.

Mufasa The Lion King First Look

Oscar® winner Barry Jenkins then took to the stage to talk about Disney’s “Mufasa: The Lion King,” the follow-up to 2019’s global phenomenon, and showcase the teaser trailer for the film, which opens in theaters on December 20. Told in flashbacks, “Mufasa: The Lion King” reveals the rise of one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands as Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa share the story of Mufasa with a young lion cub. The film is produced by Adele Romanski & Mark Ceryak, and executive produced by Peter Tobyansen.

The Studio closed out the presentation with a surprise appearance by Dwayne Johnson, who came to a stage filled with Polynesian drummers and dancers from Tiana Liufau’s Nonasina (Liufau is the choreographer on the “Moana” films). Johnson returns as the voice of Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana 2,” opening in theaters on November 27. Bergman returned to the stage to introduce NATO chairBob Bagby, who presented Johnson with the NATO Spirit of the Industry Award in recognition of his unparalleled dedication, passion, and commitment to the motion picture theatrical experience.

Moana 2 Still

“Moana 2” reunites Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) and Maui three years later for an expansive new voyage alongside a crew of unlikely seafarers. After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced. Directed by Dave Derrick Jr., co-directed by Jason Hand, and produced by Christina Chen and Yvett Merino, the epic animated musical features music by GRAMMY® winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, GRAMMY nominee Opetaia Foa’i, and three-time GRAMMY winner Mark Mancina.

Michelle Beck
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