Let Tom Rothman drive the crowd.
It’s become tradition for the Sony Pictures Movie Group Chairman – CEO to give a great speech at the opening of CinemaCon. This year was no exception, as he took to the stage in Las Vegas on Monday night to speak about the state of theater as it continues to stand in the wake of COVID- Steady footing Crisis.
“For the past three years, when pundits have raved about your business, we at Sony have stuck with it. We’re the only major studio fully committed to theatrical,” Rothman said, sparking applause. “We’re sure movies in cinemas will not only survive, but win.”
Rothman also had another message: “Another thing the experts say is that movie stars don’t More important. I really want all my competitors to believe this shit. Real movie stars are more important than ever, they’re just rarer than ever. Anchor don’t create movie stars, only global hits Movies.”
One of the movie stars is Denzel Washington, who stars in Sony’s upcoming Equalizer 3
Movie, Rothman said. The studio head made the comments before Washington took to the stage in person to receive a lifetime achievement award at CinemaCon. Owners and operators are heading to Las Vegas this week for their annual convention. This year’s show was held in April 24 -23.
The mood at CinemaCon this year is decidedly more upbeat, with exhibitors predicting box office is bouncing back as summer approaches, Universal and Illumination This was interrupted by the incredible success of the company’s Super Mario Bros. movie . (The sudden exit of NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, who helmed Universal’s movie empire and frequented CinemaCon, was also the talk of various events earlier in the day.)
“After fits begin …we’re back,” said CinemaCon managing director Mitch Neuhauser. “COVID’s door is closed.”
Furthermore, theater owners and traditional film studios have seen the threat posed by streaming (Rothman famously declared “Netflix, my ass” in a previous CinemaCon talk).
For the first time, Amazon and Apple are adopting traditional theatrical mode for some of their original movies. Additionally, Apple Original Films has selected Sony as distribution partner for Ridley Scott’s epic Napolean, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the venerable , the infamous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Napolean Bonaparte). Epic will be in theaters in November .
“The film will be released worldwide on Thanksgiving with a strong theatrical window and an all-out marketing campaign,” Rothman said. “We’re sure you’ll all have your full support, because the importance of all of this is clear.”
Rothman isn’t alone in thinking that the awareness and buzz a theatrical release can generate is Unmatched, instead of sending titles directly to the streamer.
He’s also been supportive of building a diverse roster, even if it means taking risks on last year’s movies
Where the crayfish sing or The Woman King, except for superhero blockbusters and other traditional fare.
“As you can see at Sony, we’re not messing around,” Rothman said. “There’s always a risk in being original, but the bigger risk to me is that the sameness will bore the audience to death. No ball, no glory.”
Sony Pictures Group President Joe Ash Greenstein said on stage that the studio will release only this year’s films.
“Just two years ago, in the throes of the pandemic, there was a lot of noise, a lot of talk about the death of exhibitions. Everyone said the future was streaming. We at Sony stand by your side during dark times, and our commitment to the theatrics has never wavered,” Greenstein continued. “Oh, times have changed. I say come on in, the water is fine.”
Fellow Motion Picture Group and Sanford Panitch and Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, also attended Sony’s presentation, promoting Upcoming releases include Bad Boys 4, Kraven Hunter, Dumb Money, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse , Insidious: Red Door, Equalizer 3, Jason Reitman the next Ghostbusters movie and video game adaptation for PlayStation Gran Turismo .