Lionsgate's mixed martial arts movie "Warrior" packs a punch, but if the gritty drama is going to break through it needs the backing of exhibitors.
To that end, the studio screened a rough version of the Tom Hardy film at CinemaCon on Thursday.
"Warrior" ventures both in and outside of the cage to examine the fractious relationship between two brothers (Hardy and Joel Edgerton) and their alcoholic father (Nick Nolte).
Nolte's performance, in particular, was cited by many exhibitors for praise, and the film is both inspirational and exhilarating.
Still without a major star, it's is going to need to be handled with care. Judging from the applause and chatter afterwards, exhibitors came away impressed, but four-quadrant, it ain't.
Following the screening, Lionsgate brought out the big guns — Tyler Perry.
Perry's appearance at the Las Vegas trade show comes on the heels of an announcement Thursday that the longtime partners have reached a new first-look, multi-year deal that will cover movies and home entertainment.
Perry's next film "Madea's Big Happy Family" hits theaters on April 22.
Closing his remarks with a tribute to his mother (the inspiration for his Madea character), Tyler said "Movie theaters and that woman have brought me to this place today."