universal.pngClosing out CinemaCon for 2015, Universal made the final presentation of the week by beginning with a tribute to its successful 2014 and early 2015. Most notably, Vin Diesel himself took the stage to give thanks for the massive success of Furious 7, followed by his personal announcement that an eighth installment in the increasingly popular franchise is officially on its way for an April 14, 2017 release.

The studio also confirmed Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed for February 10, 2017 and February 9, 2018, respectively.

Diving into this year's slate, Pitch Perfect 2 was again showcased after a screening of the film itself to attendees earlier this week. Seth MacFarlane then presented a new Ted 2 trailer, and if the CinemaCon crowd's reactions were any indication, it looks to avoid many of the traps of sequels (comedy sequels especially) -- good news for box office prospects as the flick will hope to try and duplicate the near-$550 million global total of the first film.

Amy Schumer then presented Trainwreck, her starring and writing vehicle from director Judd Apatow. This is another summer comedy that continues building buzz with each preview release, and looks primed to capture the same audiences that turned previous Apatow-related flicks like Knocked Up and Bridesmaids into summer smashes. Without much question, this should be a star-making role for Schumer.

In a surprise announcement/appearance, producer Jason Blum and writer/director M. Night Shyamalan presented the latter's latest original thriller, The Visit. Despite a streak of box office duds, the filmmaker may have something quite unique on his hands here. The first trailer shows off his trademark suspense mixed with a devilishly twisted sense of humor that isn't quite like anything he's put on screen before. We're eagerly awaiting further previews of the flick scheduled for a September 11 release.

The Crimson Peak and Straight Outta Compton trailers were warmly met, as were the trailer debuts for Everest and Sisters. Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, there was little mention of the well-publicized Steve Jobs biopic, which is currently still set for release on October 9.

The Minions trailer screened toward the end of the presentation, and fans of the title henchmen will no doubt be turning out to theaters for that prequel this summer. Still, it seems unlikely the film will capture the juggernaut-like box office performance of Despicable Me 2 -- but it doesn't need to.

In a world premiere, the first footage of The Secret Life of Pets (Illumination's first original project since Despicable Me) screened to a very enthusiastic crowd. Featuring comedic acts like Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, and Eric Stonetreet, the concept alone screams "wide audience appeal" as it questions what pets do all day when their owners leave home. Universal has enough confidence in it that they've delayed its release to the key summer spot of July 8, 2016 where the Despicable Me franchise has found massive success.

To cap things off, Chris Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow presented the newest Jurassic World trailer, and it promises the kind of summer action mayhem audiences will be hoping for from the popcorn flick. The franchise has yet to duplicate the same human element that helped drive the phenomenal success of Steven Spielberg's original 1993 classic, but a new generation to frighten and a sense of nostalgia could certainly help propel World to become one of the summer's biggest global box office hits.

Check BoxOffice in the days and weeks ahead as we further break down the upcoming summer releases looking to make a big splash both domestically and worldwide.

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By Daniel Garris

Universal's Furious 7 took in $1.70 million on Wednesday to lead the daily box office for a 20th consecutive day. In the process Furious 7 surpassed the $300 million domestic mark yesterday. The seventh installment of the blockbuster franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker was down 26 percent from Tuesday and down 42 percent from last Wednesday. With a massive 20-day take of $300.53 million, Furious 7 is running an extremely impressive 44 percent ahead of the $208.65 million 20-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6.

Sony's Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 held steady in second place with $0.954 million. The modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy fell a very sharp 36 percent from Tuesday's performance. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has grossed $27.46 million in six days. The film continues to perform in line with expectations and is off to a solid start with its price tag in mind. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is running 1.5 percent behind the $27.88 million six-day start of 2011's Zookeeper.

Thanks in large part to Earth Day; Monkey Kingdom was up five spots and a strong 50 percent over Tuesday to move into third on Wednesday with $0.745 million. The latest nature documentary from Disney's Disneynature label has grossed $6.22 million through six day of release. That is on the low end of the film's modest expectations and places the film 11 percent behind the $6.97 million six-day start of last year's Bears.

Unfriended was down one spot and a sharp 33 percent from Tuesday to land in fourth on Wednesday with $0.642 million. The ultra low-budget horror film from Universal and Blumhouse Productions has grossed $18.27 million in six days. That is on the low-end of pre-release expectations and places the film 21 percent behind the $23.12 million six-day start of last year's Ouija.

Fox's Home rounded out Wednesday's top five with $0.552 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from DreamWorks Animation was down 25 percent from Tuesday and down just 24 percent from last Wednesday. Home continues to exceed expectations in a big way with a 27-day gross of $144.89 million.

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fox.pngBy Shawn Robbins, BoxOffice Staff

The penultimate studio presentation of CinemaCon 2015 belonged to Fox, and following a tremendous 2014 at the box office, they certainly put on a show highlighting their upcoming slate.

Kicking off the morning was an impressive introduction by DJ Enferno and a dance group taking the stage to the former's remix of the classic Peanuts theme, which was the first film highlighted in the presentation. Debuting a new trailer built as much around nostalgia (opening to the tune of The Who's "Teenage Wasteland") as it was introducing a modern representation of the classic Charles M. Schulz comic strip faithfully being brought to the screen. Every piece of marketing thus far has hit the right notes for anyone old enough to remember reading, so it's only a question of whether or not the youngest generation of kids will be interested. It's hard to bet against the confidence behind Peanuts though, and this is poised to be one of the biggest hits of the holiday season (if not the year).

Backtracking to the start of the summer slate, the latest Poltergeist trailer played to great reactions among the CC crowd. It's been awhile since we've seen a horror hit big at the box office, and the remake of the classic 80s flick has been trending well. A domestic run between $80 million and $100 million doesn't seem far-fetched for the May 22 release.

Next up, June 5's Spy continued to drum up buzz as the trailer still caught a lot of attention despite the film screening for the convention audience earlier this week. Writer/director Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy have another R-rated comedy hit on their hands following Bridesmaids and The Heat, and word is that the ensemble cast of Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, and Jude Law will be just as much reason for strong word of mouth with scene-stealing moments alongside the film's anchoring star.

Paper Towns, set for a July 24 release, is certainly carved from the same young adult dramatic mold as The Fault In Our Stars (both being adaptations of John Green books). The new trailer provides a tone that could be accessible to more than just teenagers, but it would be asking a bit to much expect the same level of box office success as Fault enjoyed last summer. Paper Towns is certainly a flick to keep an eye on.

The new trailer for Fantastic Four made its CinemaCon debut as presented by the four main cast members. In a climate where Marvel and DC are already going head-to-head vying for the lion's share of audience attention in the superhero realm, a reboot of a series that launched only ten years ago has plenty of uphill battles to face. Still, the shift in tone and cast led by Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell look like a fresh approach to the property.

Also debuting trailers were Hitman: Agent 47 (August 28), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18), and Victor Frankenstein (October 2). The second of that group looks to expand the on-screen world of the successful first adaptation and should be another solid for the post-summer box office market. With stars like James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, Victor Frankenstein offers a new take on the classic monster legend, but we'd like to see more of the film before speculating on box office prospects.

Moving into the holiday season, Fox showed just how well-stocked their end-of-year pile is. The global premiere of footage from Ridley Scott's The Martian adaptation was presented (via video) by star Matt Damon. Following the success of movies of like Gravity and Interstellar, audiences may still be hungry for another dramatic sci-fi adventure bolstered by a strong ensemble cast, and we're excited to see what else the film has to offer as its November 25 release approaches.

A teaser for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip debuted, parodying the Hangover films in the process. The franchise dropped off at the box office with the third film recently, but there may still be a decently sized family audience for a fourth entry around the holidays.

The final two trailer debuts in Fox's presentation were clear awards contenders for the studio which has won the last two Best Picture Oscars, although both featured raw footage for the most part. David O. Russell's Joy (opening December 25) showed off its large ensemble led by Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro, and Edgar Ramirez. Representing a definite shift in style from Russell's past couple of films, it'll be interesting to see whether the filmmaker and frequent cast collaborators continue to appeal to mainstream crowds the way they have over the last few years.

Last up, CinemaCon attendees were given the first glimpse at Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman follow-up, The Revenant. A tale of adventure, survival, and revenge, the footage was preceded by notes that it's still in production and, impressively, is making use of strictly natural light under the guidance of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (winner of the past two Oscars in his field). We were given glimpses of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy roughing it up in the picturesque Canadian wilderness, in addition to quick shots of several action sequences. It's early in the game to make concrete predictions, but it's hard to imagine this film, its director, cinematographer, and leading man Leo not representing forces to be reckoned with on the awards circuit later this year. The Revenant is slated to open Christmas Day.

CinemaCon closes out later today with Universal bringing the final studio presentation to stage. Check back later for our analysis.

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PRESS RELEASE

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CINEMACON, Las Vegas (April 23, 2015)  GDC Technology Limited ("GDC Technology"), a world leading digital cinema solutions provider, is pleased to announce it recorded strong sales of its integrated projection systems in the Southeast Asia region in Q1 2015. GDC Technologys relentless pursuit of and commitment to the development of technology innovation and advancement has affirmed its leading position in the region.

Despite the challenging market environment in the region, GDC delivered a strong first quarter. As of today, the sales of GDCs integrated projection systems reached 67 units this year, in Southeast Asia alone. GDCs integrated projection systems were shipped to Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. GDCs commitment in the region is the key to its success.  In addition to the opening of the Network Operations Center in Singapore, GDC opened its first office in Indonesia last year making it the dominant digital cinema solution provider for three key local exhibitors now. Cinemaxx, a new cinema circuit in Indonesia owned by Lippo Group, is poised to become one of Indonesias largest and most preferred motion picture exhibitors with more than 1,000 screens and 150 locations planned across 77 cities.

I am excited about the continued growth in our addressable market, and I am pleased with GDCs increasing competitive advantage in Southeast Asia. Our investments in the region are aligned with evolving needs in these markets, said Dr. Man-Nang Chong, founder, chairman and CEO of GDC Technology.  Our commitment in this region has been reinforced with the establishment of a new office in Jakarta, Indonesia last year to better and more efficiently address customer needs, whereas GDCs Network Operation Center in Singapore continues to provide the most responsive round-the-clock services to our customers in the region.  Together with our experience and professional local services team, we expect GDC Technology will continue to be one of the most trusted names in digital cinema solutions.

About GDC Technology Limited (www.gdc-tech.com

GDC Technology Limited (GDC Technology) is a digital cinema solutions provider. GDC Technology develops, manufactures and sells digital cinema servers, content storage systems, theater management systems and network operations center software for digital cinema. GDC Technology also provides a suite of digital cinema products and services, including integrated projection systems, 3D products, projector lamps and silver screens. GDC Technologys subsidiary, GDC Digital Cinema Network Limited, manages VPF for approximately 5,000 theater screens and 250 motion picture distributors worldwide.

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PRESS RELEASE

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CINEMACON, Las Vegas (April 23, 2015)  GDC Technology Limited ("GDC Technology"), a world leading digital cinema solutions provider, is pleased to announce it performed another deployment for Major Cineplex, the largest circuit in Thailand, in the first quarter of 2015. Solutions provided to the exhibitor included digital cinema servers, projectors, 3D solutions and Theatre Management Systems (TMS).

Major Cineplex, the winner of the 2014 CineAsia Exhibitor of the Year Award, is Thailands leading lifestyle entertainment company, with its core operations in cinema, bowling, karaoke, ice skating rinks, rental and services, advertising media and movie content. As a pioneer in the Thai cinema business, it introduced the Cineplex concept to the country in 1995 and has been expanding its network over the last two decades. Currently, Major Cineplex commands over 70% of the market share of the Thai cinema industry's admissions revenue and is arguably the most profitable circuit in Asia.  In 2014, the circuit further expanded by opening its first Cineplex outside Thailand  in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  

Following its rollout of close to 330 units of GDCs integrated projection systems in the last 2 years, Major Cineplex carried out further digital deployments at the beginning of 2015. Seventeen units of integrated projection systems were ordered in the past quarter, resulting in over 63 per cent of Major Cineplex screens being equipped with GDCs integrated projection systems. In addition, Major Cineplex is a long term licensee of GDCs TMS with over 250 screens now managed by GDCs TMS, and it is expected to further increase to over 500 screens by the end of this year.

Jim Patterson, Director of Business Development with Major Cineplex, said: On an increasing basis, GDC Technologys products and services are of the highest quality and fit our changing needs. We are extremely happy with GDCs first class services, and also with the teams professionalism.  These are the reasons why we can rely upon them and why we confirmed the third order in such a short span of time.

Dr. Man-Nang Chong, founder, chairman and CEO of GDC Technology, added: This third order is really encouraging. GDC Technology is so proud to be a long-term partner with one of the most successful exhibitors in the world. Major Cineplexs recognition is priceless to us, and we hope their subscription to our products and services informs the market that GDC Technology is the smart choice for first class cinema circuits worldwide.

About GDC Technology Limited (www.gdc-tech.com

GDC Technology Limited (GDC Technology) is a digital cinema solutions provider. GDC Technology develops, manufactures and sells digital cinema servers, content storage systems, theater management systems and network operations center software for digital cinema. GDC Technology also provides a suite of digital cinema products and services, including integrated projection systems, 3D products, projector lamps and silver screens. GDC Technologys subsidiary, GDC Digital Cinema Network Limited, manages VPF for approximately 5,000 theater screens and 250 motion picture distributors worldwide.

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