CinemaCon 2017 Studio Presentations: FOX

Fox Wows with Big CinemaCon Presentation Emphasizing Showmanship

Fox decided to emphasize exhibition’s roots in showmanship with its presentation, opening with an intricately choreographed dance number and closing with a slew of executives singing on stage.

The studio’s highlights included an advance look at the upcoming survivalist drama The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, and a whole bunch of snow as the pair attempt to make their way out of a mountain following a plane crash. There was also a first look of Red Sparrow, an international spy thriller that reunites Jennifer Lawrence with Hunger Games director Matthew Lawrence.

Footage from Kingsman: The Golden Circle was well received by the CinemaCon audience, particularly responding to Channing Tatum’s turn as an All-American undercover agent in the action-comedy sequel. Kenneth Branagh offered a video introduction to footage from his upcoming Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Orient Express. That footage offered a glimpse of what promises another intricately detailed production from Branagh, with special attention paid to the set, costumes, and a silky cinematography to complement a star-studded cast.

Two of the stand-outs from the presentation were the new installments to the sci-fi Planet of the Apes and Alien franchises. “I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it scares the shit out of you,” remarked Alien: Covenant director Ridley Scott in a video message before screening footage that revealed a number of answers to questions raised in Prometheus, the previous installment in the series. The footage confirmed that Alien: Covenant will very much embrace the franchise’s roots in horror that Ridley Scott planted in the first installment.

Fox screened an entire scene from this summer’s War for the Planet of the Apes along with unveiling the world premiere of the film’s trailer. After being confined to the Bay area in the first two films of the current franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes will be expanding the narrative universe in its grounded reimagining of the sci-fi series.

That isn’t to say the entire slate is dark, however, with animated titles Captain Underpants and Ferdinand and the relaunch of the family-friendly Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Certainly not family-friendly but nevertheless tension-breaking was footage from R-rated comedy Snatched co-starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn in a film about a mother-daughter trip gone horribly wrong. “I read the script and knew there was no one else I could do this movie with other than Goldie,” remarked Schumer; Snatched marks the return of Goldie Hawn to the big screen after a decade-plus hiatus.

Fox closed its presentation with an early look at this holiday season’s musical, The Greatest Showman. Star Hugh Jackman took the stage, thanking exhibitors for their support of Logan in the weeks leading up to the event and sharing personal anecdotes of his previous visits to CinemaCon. The audience was treated to footage from the musical and one if its headlining numbers, “This is Me,” as balloons rained down from the auditorium’s ceiling. It was a festive end to the presentation, with Fox guests rising from the audience to join Jackman on stage and sing along to the final notes of the song.

Daniel Loria

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