Studios sprinkle stardust on CinemaCon

(From left) Julianne Moore, Matt Damon and George Clooney presented footage from noir thriller Suburbicon. Actor Zac Efron lent his star power to the segment on the upcoming adaptation of the popular 1990s television show, Baywatch.
Actor Zac Efron lent his star power to the segment on the upcoming adaptation of the popular 1990s television show, Baywatch.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
(From left) Julianne Moore, Matt Damon and George Clooney presented footage from noir thriller Suburbicon. Actor Zac Efron lent his star power to the segment on the upcoming adaptation of the popular 1990s television show, Baywatch.
(From left) Julianne Moore, Matt Damon and George Clooney presented footage from noir thriller Suburbicon.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Actors from Zac Efron to George Clooney took centre stage to promote upcoming blockbusters

LAS VEGAS • Some of Hollywood's biggest movie studios took centre stage at CinemaCon on Tuesday - bringing a vast array of stars to promote their upcoming slates of blockbusters.

Paramount competed with a new kid on the block, STX, for the loudest applause at the annual Las Vegas gathering of theatre operators and audio and visual tech innovators.

While Disney traditionally keeps most of its surprises for its own D23 Expo, the studio treated delegates to a world premiere of the latest Pirates Of The Caribbean movie, Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Hollywood decamps to the Nevada desert for four days every year, taking over Caesar's Palace to show theatre operators what they can expect to make money from in the following 12 to 24 months.

Paramount launched its two- hour extravaganza with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron fronting the segment for Baywatch, the upcoming adaptation of the popular 1990s television show.

Surrounded by 20 scantily clad models in Baywatch beachwear, Johnson called up Efron, Jon Bass, Alexandra Daddario and Priyanka Chopra and declared: "I give you the Avengers of the Beach, Team Baywatch."

Taking the stage to present footage from noir thriller Suburbicon, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julianne Moore provided the first genuinely comedic moment of the afternoon.

Clooney - who directed the film from a script by the Coen brothers - cheekily berated Paramount and Damon for a decision to release Suburbicon on Nov 3, the same day as Thor: Ragnarok.

"Who's Thor?" Clooney, 55, wanted to know.

"I'm Thor, if I don't use my thaddle. Theriously," replied Damon.

The 46-year-old was back on stage with director Alexander Payne to introduce the first footage of Downsizing, a comedy about a world where people can be shrunk to cut back on household spending.

Then, Anthony Hopkins and Mark Wahlberg were sent in with director Michael Bay to discuss the making of Transformers: The Last Knight.

STX, in business for just two years, put forward director Luc Besson and footage from his upcoming Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

Besson, 58, said the film had been a passion project since he began reading the serialised 1960s comics from Pierre Christin and Jean- Claude Mezieres on which it is based.

"There was no Internet, no YouTube, nothing and you had to wait a week to get two more pages," he told delegates at CinemaCon. "I got totally addicted. It was so cool at the time, really new and I never stopped thinking about it."

The US$180-million (S$251-million) movie, which comes out on July 21, centres on a dark force threatening Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets.

Black ops agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard the universe.

Disney's evening presentation offered little in the way of breaking news about its upcoming slate, which includes Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

But attendees learnt the name of the sequel to the 2012 hit animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph.

Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits theatres next year with a returning voice cast led by John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Studios sprinkle stardust on CinemaCon'. Print Edition | Subscribe