Warner Bros. showed off a diverse slate of films over the course of its nearly two-hour presentation at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas on Tuesday, including new trailers for Johnny Depp‘s crime drama “Black Mass,” Michael B. Jordan’s “Rocky” spinoff “Creed” and the “Vacation” reboot starring Ed Helms.
Overall, the sheer number of trailers seemed designed to show that Warner Bros. is much more than its DC superhero movies, the “Lego” franchise and J.K. Rowling‘s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” trilogy, which is an extension of the author’s Harry Potter universe.
Judging from its trailers, Warner Bros. is unleashing a Battle of the Abs this summer with Channing Tatum‘s “Magic Mike XXL,” Chris Hemsworth in “Vacation” and Zac Efron in the youth-skewing DJ drama “We Are Your Friends.”
The stars of
Hemsworth isn’t the star of “Vacation” but he plays Audrey’s (Leslie Mann) husband and he gets the opportunity to show off his manhood in a scene with Helms and Christina Applegate that had the audience in stitches along with nearly every line of dialogue spoken by Rusty Griswold’s youngest son. While the film is a family adventure, it is definitely raunchy, with jokes about glory holes. The trailer was also self-referential, opening with footage from the original “Vacation” before a callback joke at the end. “The new vacation will stand on its own,” Helms’ character says in the trailer, clearly alluding to potential suspicion on the part of audiences who love the original. The film marks the directorial debuts of writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who were in attendance on Tuesday.
“We Are Your Friends” marks the directorial debut of “Catfish” co-host Max Joseph, though the film was produced by Working Title. There’s a line in the trailer about how “99 percent of people are looking for a party. One percent of people ARE the party.” It looked like a lot of fun and a potential breakout role for Efron, whose party promoter character is taken under the wing of Wes Bentley.
On the more serious side, you could hear a pin drop during the riveting trailer for Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass,” which primarily involves a dinner scene in which Depp’s Bulger scares the crap out of David Harbour, who has shared a “family secret” recipe with the Boston gangster. Depp boasts the baby blue eyes of a vicious killer and the performance looks like a return to form for the actor, who has struggled in recent years. We got brief glimpses of co-stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumerbatch and Adam Scott, but didn’t see much of “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson.
Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan bulked up for “Creed,” which reunites him with “Fruitvale Station” director Ryan Coogler. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, who becomes his reluctant trainer. The film looks fantastic and in just two minutes, the trailer showcased Jordan’s charming magnetism as a young fighter with nothing to lose. The film’s tagline was “This year, your legacy is more than a name.” Stallone said that Rocky’s story has been told, and that “Creed” is about a “new culture.”
Elsewhere, Nancy Meyers’ comedy “The Intern” starring Anne Hathaway as Robert De Niro’s boss looked sweet. De Niro seems to be playing the straight man who serves as the target of jokes from his twenty-something co-stars, all of whom prompt Hathaway to wonder what happened to real men like Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford.
WB also showed off new footage from “Mad Max: Fury Road,” in which Charlize Theron seemed to take center stage. Mario Lopez, the host of “Extra,” emceed WB’s panel and pointed out how Theron still looks beautiful despite being bald in the eye-popping film, which aims to launch a franchise.
The studio also catered to action fans with a new trailer for Dwayne Johnson’s earthquake epic “San Andreas” and its “Point Break” remake starring Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey. The latter film features extreme athletes who pose as criminals and WB seemed particularly proud of the stunt ensemble whose work drives the film. A Christmas Day release with no marketable stars may prove a challenge, but it could provide a smart alternative for audiences tired of prestige pictures around the holidays.
WB also screened trailers for the “Entourage” movie, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, as well as Joe Wright’s gorgeous family film “Pan,” which recently moved to Oct. 9. “U.N.C.L.E” hails from WB’s “Sherlock Holmes” director Guy Ritchie and did a solid job of blending ’60s kitsch with modern VFX and action beats.
WB closed its presentation with the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” trailer, which most people in the crowd had already seen, likely numerous times.