Lionsgate brought CinemaCon 2022 to a close Thursday with a presentation that featured adaptations of a Judy Blume classic, a spinoff of one of its surprise hit films, and the return of John Wick and “The Hunger Games.”
Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hosted the presentation, combining the sneak previews with a standup routine in which he joked that the upcoming “Expendables 4” with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and 50 Cent would be “more violent than Will Smith in a comedy club.” Maniscalco also showed his own upcoming comedy “About My Father,” which he co-wrote and based on his own relationship with his Italian immigrant father. He was joined onstage by Robert De Niro, who plays Maniscalco’s father, as well as co-stars Leslie Bibb and Kim Cattrall.
Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson appeared to introduce a trailer for the film adaptation of Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.” The famed book has been a coming-of-age tale embraced by generations of women, telling the story of a young Christian girl entering adolescence, having her first crush and having a crisis of faith.
Also featured in the presentation was “White Bird,” a spinoff of Lionsgate’s surprise 2017 hit film “Wonder,” which grossed $305 million worldwide. The film follows Julian, the boy who bullied his deformed classmate Auggie in “Wonder” and who has been sent to live with his grandmother, played by Helen Mirren. While there, Julian hears her grandmother’s story of how she survived the Holocaust with the help of her classmate.
And the presentation was capped off with sneak peeks of what will be Lionsgate’s biggest moneymakers, “John Wick: Chapter 4” and “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” “Chapter 4” will continue John Wick’s never-ending battle against the assassin underworld, while “Songbirds and Snakes” will tell the story of how “Hunger Games” villain Coriolanus Snow rose to power as the president of Panem.
With many of its more prominent projects facing pandemic production delays, Lionsgate’s box office recovery has been slower than that of major studios, with only $177 million grossed at the worldwide box office last year and “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” standing as the studio’s top grosser with $38 million domestic and $67 million worldwide. The label recently released the Nicolas Cage metacomedy “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” which has grossed $8.5 million domestically in its first five days in theaters.