Lionsgate closed out CinemaCon with a bang.
The studio took over the main stage on Thursday afternoon to present its slate in front of theater owners, presenting a sizzle reel at the top of the show that teased titles John Wick 4, Expendables 4, About My Father, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and more. (More on each film to come as the presentation unfolds.)
Kicking off the session was comedy superstar Sebastian Maniscalco who took over the stage as the program’s MC. Fitting choice for Las Vegas as he routinely sells out in Sin City and beyond, and even more fitting as he toplines Lionsgate’s About My Father, loosely based on his life story and starring Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb and Kim Cattrall.
Confidently strolling the Colosseum stage inside Caesars Palace, Maniscalco dropped a short comedy set that covered facial coverings, the crazy cost of hitting a pool in Las Vegas and even the size of the CinemaCon badges (which are very large, by the way). “I have been watching you for the past three days, milling about the casino,” he said. “”Who the hell decided that the lanyards were going to be this big? What are you keeping in there? Your tax returns? Some of you are walking around the casino [hunched over].”
Regarding Vegas fashion, he quipped, “Vegas has changed a lot in the last 30 years. [People] used to come here dressed up. Looks like a slumber party out there.”
Jokes aside, Lionsgate then rolled out a video message from Curtis Jackson, best known as rap icon 50 Cent, who introduced the star-packed Expendables 4 reel. The Scott Waugh directed pic stars 50 Cent alongside heavyweights Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Megan Fox, Dolph Lundgren, Andy Garcia, Randy Couture and Uko Awais.
“This film is more violent than Will Smith at a comedy club, just saying,” joked Maniscalco before introducing 50 Cent. “I love movies in theaters,” he said. “This right here, this is about to be my movie. I’m taking over this franchise.”
The clip reel opened with Stallone’s character saying matter-of-factly, “This life, it’s not for everyone.” Then came facts about the franchise in that more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition have been used and more than 7,000 dead bodies piled up over the past three installments. “It was all a warmup for this,” teased the reel.
More to come.