Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in 20th Century Studios' 'A Haunting in Venice.'

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot in 20th Century Studios' 'A Haunting in Venice.' Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Even as it continues its habit of shifting some movies (such as the upcoming ‘Peter Pan & Wendy’) to Disney+ as a lure for subscribers, Disney is still seeing big box office for its major releases (if a little lower for, say, recent Marvel and Pixar movies).

So, the company –– which of course boasts those two big franchises plus Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight under its giant banner –– is expectedly touting the huge success of ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ and pointing to all the films it has headed our way this year.

Tony Chambers, the company’s head of theatrical distribution led the presentation, highlighting the fact that this year marks the first time since 2019 that they are releasing movies from all seven labels.

The show kicked off with a new clip from a certain incoming Marvel release…

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’

Marvel Studio's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3.'

Marvel Studio's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3.' Photo courtesy of Marvel.com.

Given that director James Gunn has been off on a world tour promoting the new ‘Guardians’ movie (and, er, the fact that he’s now one of the CEOs of DC Studios), he wasn’t on stage for the presentation.

And the mention of ‘Guardians’ was understandably small given that the movie will be in theaters next week (May 5th, to be exact), with just a new clip shown to the audience at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The footage features Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the different version of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) we met in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ on a planet in space suits. “I know you don’t remember any of it. You were everything to me, I miss you so much.,” he tells her, pouring out his heart. The funny kicks in with the rest of the gang –– Drax (Dave Bautista), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) –– revealed to be listening to Peter’s expression of love.

‘The Marvels’

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios' 'The Marvels.'

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in Marvel Studios' 'The Marvels.' Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 Marvel.

The focus on Marvel continued with the recently released trailer for ‘The Marvels’, though that of course had already been seen. Expect more from that one and other MCU titles when Comic-Con rolls around this summer.

Following that, it was on to Disney’s main animated arm…

The Marvels

"Higher. Further. Faster. Together."
61
PG-131 hr 45 minNov 7th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

‘Wish’

Chris Pine as Magnifico in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 'Wish.' 'Wish' opens only in theaters on Nov. 22, 2023.

Chris Pine as Magnifico in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 'Wish.' 'Wish' opens only in theaters on Nov. 22, 2023. © 2023 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Disney Feature Animation has the original fantasy film 'Wish' headed our way later this year. Though the movie was originally announced at last year’s D23, Disney has been drip-feeding information ever since, and CinemaCon is no exception.

The movie, which is also a musical comedy, introduces Asha (Ariana DeBose), a sharp-witted idealist who makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force — a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star set out to prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen. All with the help of Asha’s goat pal Valentino (voiced by current animation lucky charm Alan Tudyk).

A clip was shown, featuring DeBose’s character singing one of her featured tunes, ‘So I Made This Wish’ –– aka the ‘I Want’ song so traditional to Disney princesses with some beautiful sky and scenery around that elicited applause from the crowd.

And Chambers also announced that Chris Pine is part of the voice cast, playing King Magnifico, the ruler of Rosas, a magical kingdom where wishes really do come true.

Said Jennifer Lee, DWA boss and co-writer of the movie about Pine in a press release from the studio,

“As the most powerful person in the kingdom, King Magnifico needed to be played by someone who could give all the charm, cleverness and charisma to this magnanimous character, and Chris is beautifully bringing all of that and then some.”

‘Wish’, directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, will be in theaters on November 22nd, filling the traditional Disney Thanksgiving slot.

Wish

"Be careful what you wish for."
65
PG1 hr 35 minNov 8th, 2023
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Related Article: CinemaCon 2023: Warner Bros. Presentation

Next up, it was time to find out if it’s better under the sea…

‘The Little Mermaid’

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action 'The Little Mermaid.'

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action 'The Little Mermaid.' Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2023 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Melissa McCarthy arrived on stage to talk up Rob Marshall’s live action/CG re-imagining of the fairy tale so famously brought to animated life by Disney in 1989. While Halle Bailey plays the titular Ariel, McCarthy is scheming sea witch Ursula.

Here’s what McCarthy had to say about her character.

“Did someone say my name… I had something in my throat. It was an honor to play one of Disney’s most delicious and iconic villains. You can’t help but love her. Ursula is everything — she’s dishy, she’s a conniving broad, maybe that’s why I relate to her.”

McCarthy cued up a new clip from the movie, which fittingly featured her character in the sequence where Ursula grants Ariel’s wish to become a human, and Ursula’s song ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’.

'The Little Mermaid' swims into theaters on May 26th.

The Little Mermaid

"Watch and you'll see, some day I'll be, part of your world!"
64
PG2 hr 15 minMay 8th, 2023
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After that, it was time for ghostly goings on…

‘Haunted Mansion’

Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, and Chase Dillon star in director Justin Simien's 'Haunted Mansion.'

(L to R) Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Rosario Dawson, and Chase Dillon star in director Justin Simien's 'Haunted Mansion.'

The new take on ‘Haunted Mansion’ is directed by Justin Simien and stars the likes of Tiffany Haddish, Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Jared Leto, LaKeith Stanfield and Jamie Lee Curtis in the story of Dawson’s single mother, who moves into the spooky mansion and needs help to exorcise its spirits.

A new trailer and clip were shown from the movie, featuring plenty of ghostly action and making it look very faithful to the original theme park ride.

‘Haunted Mansion’ creeps into theaters on July 28th.

Haunted Mansion

"Home is where the haunt is."
65
PG-132 hr 3 minJul 15th, 2023
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‘Elemental’

Disney and Pixar’s 'Elemental' directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream, releases on June 16, 2023.

Disney and Pixar’s 'Elemental' directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream, releases on June 16, 2023. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Despite the less-than-stellar results from ‘Lightyear’, Disney continues to see Pixar as a pillar of its schedule, and demonstrated that belief with 20 minutes of impressive, 3D footage from the upcoming ‘Elemental’.

The movie, directed by Pete Sohn, features the voices of Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Catherine O’Hara.

As for the story, it transports us to Element City, where a host of elements live and work. The trailer showcases each element — air, earth, water and fire — and what sets them apart according to Ember Lumen (Lewis), a quick-witted and fiery woman who’s always stayed close to home in Firetown. She finally ventures out of her comfort zone to explore and meets go-with-the-flow water guy Wade Ripple (Athie). Elements are not supposed to mix, but Ember and Wade forge a connection - one that could cause problems for them and their families.

‘Elemental’ will close out this year’s Cannes Film Festival before arriving in theaters on June 16th.

Elemental

"Opposites react."
77
PG1 hr 42 minJun 10th, 2023
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'Next Goal Wins'

20th Century Studios’ ‘Next Goal Wins’, the long-awaited soccer comedy from Taika Waititi was next up.

The movie follows the American Samoa soccer team, infamous for their brutal 31-0 FIFA loss in 2001. With the World Cup Qualifiers approaching, the team hires down-on-his-luck, maverick coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender) hoping he will turn the world’s worst soccer team around. The underdog comedy heads to theaters November 17th, and you can watch the trailer below.

Next Goal Wins

"Be happy."
65
PG-131 hr 44 minNov 17th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

And then, it was back to scarier offerings…

‘A Haunting in Venice’

Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds in 20th Century Studios' 'A Haunting in Venice.'

Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds in 20th Century Studios' 'A Haunting in Venice.' Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2023 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Kenneth Branagh’s latest Agatha Christie adaptation sees his Hercule Poirot headed to the floating city, where there are terrifying goings-on.

A first trailer was shown for the movie, which unlike most of the other footage shown today, has gone online.

This time, a disconsolate Poirot finds himself at a Halloween party in one of the city’s creepier palazzos during a thunderstorm and, as it turns out, a seance. This palazzo is an orphanage, you see, and like all orphanages in ghost stories it’s got a deep, dark secret. A mother searching for a lost child thinks she can make contact through a medium, and over the course of an evening secrets start to unravel.

As was the case with Branagh-Poirot’s last two cases, the cast is stacked: Michelle Yeoh –– or, to give her her full title, Best Actress Oscar-winner and all-round goddess Michelle Yeoh –– will be that medium, Joyce Reynolds, and the cast also includes Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Camille Cottin and Jude Hill, who played the nine-year-old lead in Branagh’s ‘Belfast’.

A Haunting in Venice’ is in theaters from September 15th.

A Haunting in Venice

"Death was only the beginning."
67
PG-131 hr 44 minSep 15th, 2023
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‘The Creator’

Next was the first look footage and trailer for 20th Century Studios’ ‘The Creator’, the new sci-fi thriller from ‘Godzilla’ director Gareth Edwards.

Retitled from ‘True Love’, the movie finds humans facing off against robots.

In the trailer shown to audiences, John David Washington is reflecting on heaven with his wife and daughter. The daughter is an android, with a half-head. Gorgeous battle scenes akin to Edwards’ 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' see spaceship fighters attacking tropical locales. It looks astonishing and will hopefully arrive online before too long.

‘The Creator’ will land in theaters on September 29th.

The Creator

The Creator

Not Yet Rated40 min

Thinking Machines from the future search for their origins and destiny in the universe inside the dream diaries of their Creator Alan Turing Read the Plot

And finally, the man with the hat…

‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’

Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.'

(L to R) Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.' ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Chambers closed out the presentation by introducing a video greeting from Indy himself –– AKA Harrison Ford, who praised the latest movie and cued up an action-packed clip.

The sneak peek showed Indiana Jones and his goddaughter Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) bickering with each other as they dodge gunfire and slow-moving camels in a bazaar in Tangier. As an army of mooks chases them, they chase after the Nazi Jurgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen), who has the Dial in his possession. But Helena and Indy don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to the dial. Helena is engaged to an unscrupulous man who wants the dial to make a fortune, and she has her own reasons for wanting to make the sale. Indy wants the dial because, presumably, it belongs in a museum.

And while Helena has the most death-defying moment in the scene as she jumps onto Jurgen’s car, Indy isn’t taking it easy as he drives a small cart through narrow streets and reaches out to grab the dial without getting shot by Jurgen’s right-hand man, Klaber, played by Boyd Holbrook.

The clip got a rousing reaction from theater owners, and 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' is headed to Cannes before landing in theaters on June 30th.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

"His final adventure will be his greatest."
66
PG-132 hr 35 minJun 30th, 2023
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And that was it for the main presentation, though the company had one final treat up its sleeve –– a screening of new Stephen King adaptation ‘The Boogeyman’. That one will be scaring audiences in theaters from June 2nd.

The Boogeyman

"It's not real. It's not real. It's not real."
65
PG-131 hr 39 minJun 2nd, 2023
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Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's 'IJ5.'

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in Lucasfilm's 'IJ5.' ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. TM. All Rights Reserved.

Movies Presented at Disney and 20th Century Studios 2023 CinemaCon Presentation:

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