Sony Pictures presented a varied slate for 2014 of comedy, drama and action at the CinemaCon convention on Wednesday, relying on only one tentpole picture, the upcoming “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” to drive big box office.
The studio’s offerings reflected the eclectic approach to moviemaking that has become its hallmark, with comedies dominating the summer including a new “22 Jump Street” starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, “Sex Tape” starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as a married couple whose homemade porno tape gets uploaded to the cloud and “The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen as TV journalists invited to interview North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
That last movie may stir up some political discussion, as the plot involves the CIA soliciting the journalists to assassinate the not-fictional Korean leader.
In addition, there was a Screen Gems horror movie in “Deliver Us From Evil”; an inspirational football tale in “When the Game Stands Tall,” based on a true story; and an African-American comedy sequel starring Kevin Hart “Think Like a Man 2,” set in Las Vegas.
But the slate was bare of anything like a tentpole except for the new reboot of “Spider-Man” which opens in early May. Still, that franchise and the low cost – high profit comedies could propel the studio to a better summer than its lackluster 2013.
Sony’s worldwide distribution president Rory Bruer called the slate one of the strongest in years, saying, “We’re as proud of this slate this year as ever.”
The studio’s hope for a holiday hit lies largely in a reboot of the beloved musical”Annie,” starring Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) in the title role, with Jamie Foxx as Daddy Warbucks. Diaz, a studio favorite, plays the evil Miss Hannigan.
And the studio may hope for an awards season run with “Fury,” an intense World War Two drama written and directed by David Ayer (“End of Watch”). The movie stars Brad Pitt as a tank commander leading a group of soldiers including Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman in the final days of the war. For adults there is “The Equalizer,” a revenge thriller that finds Denzel Washington doing unspeakable things to Russian mobsters with a corkscrew and shot glass. Neither is for the faint of heart.
The studio has in the past year undergone severe staff reductions and an overhaul of its marketing and communications division, along with hiring a new production co-president in Mike DeLuca.
For the record: A previous version of this post misidentified Kim Jong Un’s country. TheWrap regrets the error.