Michelle’s CinemaCon Adventure Day 1, Thor! Captain America! and More!

CinemaCon 2011 Day 1

I’m in Las Vegas this week attending The Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), also known as CinemaCon. This is a week when Hollywood comes together with Theater owners to pat each other on the back and say “Job well done…” We also get a glance at what new technology and concepts will be making it to our local Cinemas in the next year. The exhibit floor opens today. Last night Paramount Pictures brought the stars out for a two-hour presentation of new footage from some of the hot upcoming releases. Due to embargo rules I can’t talk about much of what I saw. The two “watch” phrases of the night were “it’s a rough cut,” and “thank you Celine for letting us use the house that you built for the week…”

Thor Movie Hammer

JJ Abrams gave a rambling speech about working with Steven Spielberg when he was 15 years old and then he introduced the footage to Super 8. Can I just say, “WOW!” without running afoul of the  embargo police? The audience was then treated to 15 minutes of Captain America I was giddy as a schoolgirl at the trailer clip of The Howling Commandos. Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, was on hand to intro the new footage for Thor. Since others have already broken the embargo and spoiled one major surprise in Thor, I’ll say it here – I just about died when I saw Jeremy Renner grab the Bow instead of a Gun. Oh, my god Hawkeye has an extended cameo in Thor!

After watching 15 minutes of Kung Fu Panda 2, Jack Black came out and did a cute Celine Dion bit. Jeffrey Katzenberg was on hand to show the audience Puss and Boots. I was skeptical about Paramount’s summer slate but those fears have now been put to rest.

I had a lot of jokes about how “I shouldn’t be surprised that a convention that celebrates the movie going experience, is, so far, pretty awful,” but I have to say the “House that Celine Built” makes for an AMAZING movie watching experience. The screen quality was sharp, had a perfect picture and the sound quality was stunning. I asked the guy next to me (a theater owner) why is it nearly impossible to get this kind of quality (especially consistently) at any theater in the DC/MD/VA Area? This really is what going to the movies should be like ALL THE TIME.

At the end of the presentation Paramount gave us a nice little swag bag of T-Shirts and a plush Super 8 pull over thing.

On the agenda for today is walking the exhibit floor, tasting the new concessions and popcorn that folks will be eating in the next few months. I’m also meeting with the folks at Sony to get the scoop on the latest in Cinema Tech and the folks at Harkness Screens is going to give me a Demo on their new 3D Screens. The day will wrap up with a Disney Presentation – again due to embargo rules I will not be able to talk about much that Disney shows tonight.

After the Disney Presentation it’s off to Harrah’s for their Legends In Concert Show, which I’ll do a quick review of. Then maybe a little more drinking.