Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Comedy at CinemaCon

The actor at least had some material for the Monday night occasion as he paraded through the audience of theater owners in costume and character as an authoritarian leader of a fictitious middle eastern country to promote his upcoming film The Dictator – before a late night surprise screening elsewhere. “I thought I was going to be the only dictator here tonight,” he said. “Imagine my surprise when I found out Jeffrey Katzenberg would be here.” He added that he was “pleased to be here to address Cinnabon” claiming to have stared in movies such as When Harry Kidnapped Sally, The 14 Year Old Virgin, and The Planet Of The Rapes. “I hope you show my film on all of your screens…Trust me, there are bigger bombs than John Carter.” Staying with the riff he urged Disney to “just shoot the executive” responsible for the film. “Wait a minute, you did” — an obvious reference to the company’s decision last week to fire studio chief Rich Ross. He told the industry audience that his “film will be released on May 16. As for your families, we’ll see.”

The shtick was part of Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s effort to impress the exhibition community with the potential audience appeal of their 2012 slates. Jon Chu, the director of G.I. Joe: Retaliation called the film’s star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson “franchise Viagra. He brings everyone’s game up.” The actor, who was presented an award as the CinemaCon Action Star of the Decade, predicted that the film would be “a massive hit.”

Katzenberg presented extended clips from The Guardians and Madagascar 3 and brought Chris Rock on to talk up the sequel. Although Madagascar will be be up against “Spider-man, Batman and all this other crap,”  he says, “I believe the biggest movie of the summer will be Madagascar 3″ which he says reminded him of Pixar’s Toy Story 3. “It can’t get no better.”  But after Rock was through, Katzenberg — one of Hollywood’s most passionate evangelists for 3D — got a bigger laugh by asking the audience: “Have I ever mentioned to you guys how much I like 3D?”

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