'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Having caused ripples with filmmakers and nervous feelings for already-threatened theater chains during the pandemic by putting a swathe of movies either directly on streaming service HBO Max or releasing them day-and-date online, Warner Bros. was somewhat naturally ready to go all-in on the big s screen as part of its presentation to cinemas bosses.

Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav opened with his commitment to theatrical, adding that the studio has 14 movies planned for cinemas in 2023, looking to ramp up to 20 in the coming years.

“I’m convinced, there is no other place to see a motion picture, to have impacts on all parts of the world…we believe in full windowing of the business, we don’t believe in streaming. We’re in no rush to bring movies to Max,” he said, referring to the to-be-retitled streaming service.

‘The Color Purple’

'The Color Purple' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'The Color Purple' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Zaslav has a longstanding business relationship with Oprah Winfrey (he oversaw development on her OWN network) and helped to introduce a project she’s deeply involved with –– the new musical version of Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Color Purple’.

Winfrey took the stage with the movie’s director Blitz Bazawule and told the room it was her first time at CinemaCon. “This is first circle moment for me to be a part of this film,” said Winfrey who starred in that original adaptation of the Alice Walker novel.

Winfrey said that the new musical version brings “magical realism, wholesome family goodness” to the screen. She happily introduced Bazawule,

“We knew you were the director to bring this version to the screen. How did you know you were the one?”

'The Color Purple' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'The Color Purple' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Bazawule: “I started this journey with the utmost respect for you, but also for Alice Walker, whose book gave us this amazing story…. At its core it’s about finding your voice, your family and breaking through obstacles which keep you down."

“We’re going to get the groups in the seats,” said Winfrey, “It’s a celebration of sisterhood.”

They showed off the filled with lush Southern backgrounds, beaches, grand period costumes. We see Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery saying, “I was married to a man I didn’t know”. There’s a shot of a 1920s band set on stage, and Henson adds “We got to show these folks we belong.” The movie stars Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Jon Batiste, Halle Bailey and more.

‘The Color Purple’ will be in theaters on December 25th.

The Color Purple

"A bold new take on the beloved classic."
71
PG-132 hr 21 minDec 25th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

‘Barbie’

'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

‘The Color Purple’ might indicate prestige, but pink was really the color for both the opening of the presentation –– launched by distribution chiefs Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps who were decked out in hot pink suits with ties and sneakers to match –– and of ‘Barbie’, which has been making waves following its trailer and poster launch.

Co-writer/director Greta Gerwig took the stage with stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and America Ferrera to promote the movie, with Gerwig laughing as she told partner/co-writer Noah Baumbach to “move aside” when he suggested he might direct.

But the star of the presentation was Gosling –– clad in a pink jacket –– who revealed how the filmmakers helped him find the character of Ken.

Here’s what he said,

“I have to be honest, I had up until this point, I only knew Ken from afar. I didn’t know Ken from within,” the actor explained. “If I’m being really honest, I doubted my Ken-ergy. I didn’t see it. Margot and Greta, I feel like they conjured this out of me somewhere.”

The foursome debuted some unseen footage, which helped flesh out the story of the movie as seen in the recent trailer. Robbie’s title character is seemingly going about her technicolor life until strange things start happening, like cold showers and burnt waffles and then the ultimate ailment — flat feet. Her fellow Barbies suggest she go and see “weird Barbie,” played by Kate McKinnon who offers two options, to go back to her regular Barbie life or real-life as displayed by a stiletto or a Birkenstock.

Barbie then sets off on a journey to the real world and is surprised by Ken who joins her in the backseat of her convertible.

‘Barbie’ drives into theaters on July 21st.

'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Barbie' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Related Article: CinemaCon 2023: Sony Pictures Presentation

Barbie

"She's everything. He's just Ken."
71
PG-131 hr 54 minJul 9th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

‘The Meg 2: The Trench’

From the looks of the trailer for the giant shark sequel, the filmmakers (including director Ben Wheatley) are doubling down on the monster action, bringing lots more creatures plus a new, bigger Megalodon shark.

Jason Statham returns as the heroic Jonas, seen in the footage leaping into the air on a jet ski to face off against a shark with a sword. Are we getting into ‘Sharknado’ territory? Possibly, but that’s part of the fun.

The Meg 2: The Trench’ chomps its ways into theaters on August 4th.

Meg 2: The Trench

"Back for seconds."
66
PG-131 hr 56 minAug 4th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

’Wonka’

Timothée Chalamet was on hand to bring fresh footage from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ prequel ‘Wonka’, in which he plays the candy creator.

The trailer, which was for the room only, showed off plenty of mainstays of the Willy Wonka character, including chocolate that makes one float, and a surprise: Hugh Grant as an Oompa-Loompa, which got big laughs from the crowd. Chalamet called working with Grant as a “dream come true.” He added of the Oompa-Loompa character, “it was a trip.”

Directed by ‘Paddington’s Paul King, the musical movie will sing for its supper (and more likely dessert) in theaters from December 15th.

Wonka

"Every good thing in this world started with a dream."
72
PG1 hr 57 minDec 15th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

‘Dune: Part Two’

'Dune Part Two' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Dune Part Two' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Chalamet was back, joined by co-star Zendaya and director Denis Villeneuve on stage to show off teaser footage for the second part of Villeneuve’s giant sci-fi adaptation.

This time, we’re promised more action as Chalamet’s Paul Atreides starts his battle to avenge his murdered family and free the planet Arrakis from the cruel Harkonnens. Zendaya is back –– and actually part of the story this time –– as Chani, a warrior from the native Fremen.

The footage showed some big moments, such as Paul riding one of the native Sandworm creatures, plus new cast members such as Florence Pugh and Austin Butler, who will be Princess Irulan and the calculating sword-slinger Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Who hopefully doesn’t sound like Elvis Presley.

Dune: Part Two’ heads to theaters on November 3rd.

'Dune Part Two' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Dune Part Two' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

‘The Nun 2’

There was horror to be found with the sequel to ‘Conjuring’ spin-off ‘The Nun’, with a first look at the new movie, directed by Michael Chaves.

As expected, it’s scary stuff, with young girls playing a dare game that soon turns terrifying. Taissa Farmiga’s Sister Irene is back to help deal with the new demonic threat. Expect freakish goat creatures, rivers of blood and lots of screaming.

Farmiga and co-star Storm Reid took the stage to talk up the film with the former explaining that Sister Irene returns because “she has a strong sense of duty”. Filming at a real abandoned church in France frightened Farmiga so much that she needed an escort to walk her around the location.

‘The Nun’ will vow to frighten audiences on September 8th.

The Nun II

"Confess your sins."
68
R1 hr 50 minSep 8th, 2023
Showtimes & Tickets

‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’

Jason Momoa in 2018's 'Aquaman.'

Jason Momoa in 2018's 'Aquaman.'

James Wan’s ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ kicked off a half hour chunk of the presentation dedicated to DC movies.

Though James Gunn is away touring the world for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,' he sent a video message. Fellow DC Studios CEO Peter Safran was in person to talk up the slate.

Here’s what he said,

“Each of these films not only delivers a stunning cinematic experience that uniquely highlights our iconic DC heroes, but they also blaze a trail forward into our DC universe that we are cracking with our next chapter.”

Neither James Wan nor star Jason Momoa were on hand, though they appeared via video to introduce a new trailer for the aquatic hero’s sequel.

Wan said ‘Aquaman 2’ visits “beautiful, strange new worlds” where it explores “interesting new characters.” “It’s an action-adventure story with a really fun bromance between Arthur (Momoa) and Orm (Patrick Wilson). Orm was a villain the first time around, but this time Arthur needs him.”

As for the trailer, it finds Momoa battling Yahya Abdul Mateen II’s Black Manta –– who this time has his own Trident, and is causing big trouble for our hero, requiring the Orm assist. Oh, and Aquaman has a child now.

The movie swims to theaters on December 20th.

‘Blue Beetle’

'Blue Beetle' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Blue Beetle' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

Blue Beetle’ director Angel Manuel Soto and star Xolo Maridueña brought an extended trailer for the movie about a young man who becomes an unwitting superhero (at least until he embraces the powers granted him by a weird scarab).

Unlike some other heroes, Maridueña’s Jamie Reyes has a family who knows about his superhero side. “Good luck hiding something from your Latino mother,” Soto said to laughs, while Maridueña described his character as the only superhero who doesn’t seem to want his powers.

‘Blue Beetle’, heads to theaters on August 18th.

'Blue Beetle' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

'Blue Beetle' CinemaCon 2023 Presentation and Press Line, April 25th. Photos By Eric Charbonneau.

‘The Flash’

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl and Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Flash,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L to R) Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Sasha Calle as Kara Zor-El/Supergirl and Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Flash,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics. Copyright: © 2023 Warner Bros. Ent. All Rights Reserved. TM & © DC

A new trailer for ‘The Flash’ was shown, adding in more to the story of Barry Allen’s troubles with the multiverse.

Directed by Andy Muschietti, the superhero film finds Barry (Ezra Miller) causing problems when he uses his powers to save his parents – and breaks the universe in the process. As the trailer shows, he’ll need the help of Michael Keaton’s Batman and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl to stop a multiverse variant of ‘Man of Steel’s General Zod (Michael Shannon), who has free rein in a world where heroes don’t appear to exist.

The trailer promises a lot of action, some quips and Keaton being cool as Bats. The whole movie premiered for the CinemaCon crowd, but most audiences will have to wait until June 16th.

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Flash,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Flash,' a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics. Copyright: © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Movies Presented at Warner Bros. 2023 CinemaCon Presentation:

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