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Cinemacon 2016 offers sequels, reboots and theatrical food for thought with ambitious ‘Screening Room’

By Cameron Fowler
On April 18, 2016

The sixth annual Cinemacon was held in Las Vegas from April 11-16 and attracted a bevy of varying personalities from the movie industry who showed up to talk about their upcoming movies, secret projects, and movie technology.

Cinemacon is a movie convention that covers every type of film, from the indie to the superhero, in grand fashion. This year, there seemed to be a large amount of sequels revealed, as is becoming common, as well as first looks at films from Ang Lee, Tim Burton, JJ Abrams and wunderkind Damien Chazelle.

James Cameron was also there, of course. The ‘Avatar’ director revealed that there will be not one, not two, not three, but four sequels to ‘Avatar’ released in the next seven years, beginning with ‘Avatar 2’ in 2018. This also comes on top of Cameron’s partnership with Disney to build a theme area based around ‘Avatar’ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, slated to open in 2017. The amount of sequels to ‘Avatar’ keeps growing, as Cameron first said there would only be two, then changing it to three, and now, presumably finally, to four.

As expected, there was news on superhero movies, the most exciting and promising of which was the announcement that Ben Affleck was directing his own standalone Batman movie. Although the prospect of an Affleck-helmed Batman movie is exciting, it comes on the heels of the disappointing “Batman v. Superman,” in which Affleck’s Batman was the highlight, so evidently it’s the DC movie we both deserve and need right now.

There was at least one topic that heated up the convention though, and that was “The Screening Room,” a service designed by Napster cofounder Sean Parker that plans to bring movies to living rooms the same day as their theater release for a 48-hour rental fee of $50 per movie. That also comes on top of a streaming box sold separately that costs $150. Several respected filmmakers including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Peter Jackson, support the service’s idea, while others such as Christopher Nolan and James Cameron oppose it, citing the lack of a “theater experience” watching movies in one’s home.

Cinemacon is an evolving convention for movie fans in a lot of ways, and the prospect of big things on the horizon makes the wait for next year even more exciting. So until we’re all zoned out at home watching ‘Avatar 57,’ Cinemacon will always be even just slightly amusing for movie fans.

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