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January 17, 2018

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Preview: Star-studded CinemaCon unveils summer blockbusters, interactive big-screen technology



Dwayne Johnson stars in “Hercules.”

2013 CinemaCon Awards

Actress Elizabeth Banks accepts the Award of Excellence in Acting during the 2013 CinemaCon Awards at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Launch slideshow »


Draft Day

Looking for movie stars? Want their autographs? Don’t think about Hollywood this week because the silver screen’s actors, actresses, producers and directors have upped from Tinseltown and are here on the Strip for the four-day, global CinemaCon meetings.

It all starts today in Celine Dion’s Colosseum theater at Caesars Palace with Paramount Pictures hosting Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and director Michael Bay in a screening of their summer blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will preview his new film “Hercules,” and Will Arnett will screen his “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” release. More than 5,000 motion picture theater industry professionals have arrived for the annual National Association of Theater Owners convention.

On Tuesday, Universal Pictures screen its upcoming Zac Efron and Seth Rogen movie “Neighbors,” and Lionsgate preview Ivan Reitman’s “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.

On Wednesday, Walt Disney Studio executives will preview its summer slate, and then director Christopher Nolan (“Memento,” “Batman” trilogy) will be an industry luncheon speaker about his big-screen passion. He also will participate in the Sprite Films nationwide competition showcasing the talents of the Top Six up-and-coming U.S. student filmmakers.

Other studios taking part with presentations Wednesday: 20th Century Fox , Sony and Warner Bros. Hollywood film veteran Tom Sherak will be honored at the Will Rogers Pioneers Foundation dinner. The studios remain tight-lipped about many of the movie stars they fly in to meet theater owners.

It’s mega-star day Thursday, which kicks off at lunch with our Las Vegas hero Tony Hsieh of talking customer service, culture and community. Then the awards start early evening at the Colosseum with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush as MC.

Chris Pratt, who stars in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” will be honored as Breakthrough Performer of the Year. Drew Barrymore will be awarded Female Star of the Year and Adam Sandler the Male Star of the Year, Ivan Reitman will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Kevin Costner for the Cinema Icon Award.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be named Comedy Filmmakers of the Year and Leslie Mann as Comedy Star of the Year. Also picking up awards: Nicola Peltz, Shailene Woodley, Jack Reynor, Chadwick Boseman and Andy Serkis.

The CinemaCon delegates also get to check out everything from new movie theater seating to popcorn breakthroughs. On Tuesday, a new, first-ever interactive movie technology will be unveiled at the South Point movie complex promising to be a true game changer in world cinema.

Barry Grieff, founder of Audience Entertainment, says the technology will be in 300 screens by year’s end and move globally next year. The technology that transmits from smart phone onto the screen allows moviegoers to control the movement and story outcome on the screen. Initially, it will work for advertising and movie trailers and eventually to feature films.

I know Barry from back in the days when he was president of Broadway Video in Manhattan for “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels. Barry commented: “As the digitization of cinema nears completion, we are left looking for what is next. What will make the cinema the entertainment destination for the 21st century consumer?

“At Audience Entertainment, we see ourselves as the enablers of a new interactive dimension to big-screen content and stories. We believe that the cinema is the perfect entertainment environment with the best seats, sound and pictures. Big screens will become interactive by understanding and reacting to the audience.”

Check back to Vegas DeLuxe for our continuing reports and photos from this year’s CinemaCon.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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