Tiffany Haddish Rules, Disney Dominates and Other Takeaways From CinemaCon 2019

The razzle-dazzle of past conventions of the movie theater community has disappeared

Hollywood is trying, but it’s awfully hard to put on a global celebration of the theatrical experience at CinemaCon when the entire entertainment industry is in upheaval.

With Sony saving its pennies by not coming to Las Vegas at all, with Disney thumbing its nose at the world with a presentation that said, “Nah, we aren’t bothering,” and with once-ambitious Fox dutifully tucked into the Disney universe — it was an underwhelming week.

Gone are the massive lunches for 5,000 people in a ballroom with a galaxy of stars lined up on the dais after being herded onto the corporate jet for a three-hour, door-to-door razzle-dazzle. Gone are the days of the enormous giveaway bags that people used to FedEx back to their hometowns because they were so unwieldy.

It was left to Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. (also looking to keep its balance post-Tsujihara trauma) to hold up the grand Hollywood tradition of showmanship. Here are my top takeaways from CinemaCon 2019:

1. Diversity is super hot right now.

It’s almost as if 18 months…

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Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, CEO and Editor in Chief, is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, a former Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times and a leading authority on the entertainment business and media. Before the Times, she was a correspondent for eight years for The Washington Post. She started out as a foreign correspondent, covering Europe and the Middle East for a decade. She is the founder and CEO of The Wrap, and the author of two books, including, “Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System.” She can be reached at sharon@thewrap.com.