I understand Sony will make a return to CinemaCon at some point in the future, and will support this year’s confab in other ways. In years past, other studios like Disney and Universal have opted to skip the annual film exhibition/distribution conference.
Essentially, the timing of the confab doesn’t align with Sony’s production schedules on its upcoming slate. Most of their pics coming down the pike are either VFX heavy or going into various stages of filming or post production. Sony will have just released the Vin Diesel Valiant comic book pic Bloodshot on March 13 prior to CinemaCon.
Those Sony movies being released after CinemaCon include Peter Rabbit 2: Runaway (April 3), the Tom Hanks feature Greyhound (May 8), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (July 10), Marvel’s Morbius (summer) and Escape Room 2 (August 14), along with the Milla Jovovich Capcom video game feature adaptation Monster Hunter and The Happiest Season, a modern holiday romantic comedy starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis among other titles. The studio will focus its efforts and resources on other strategies for these pics.
Sitting out CinemaCon last year didn’t hurt Sony’s 2019: its domestic box office hit $1.345 billion, up 6%, in a year when most major studios saw a downturn in grosses in the face of Disney’s IP powerhouse of Marvel, Star Wars, animated titles, etc. Sony’s global last year was at $3.35B off such event titles as Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1.1B worldwide ), 10-time Oscar nominee Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ($389.3M WW), Oscar nominee A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Zombieland: Double Tap ($122.8M), not to mention the year-end jump starts of Little Women (which will soon cross $100M stateside, $162.9M WW) and Jumanji: The Next Level (current B.O. $291.2M, $754.8M WW).
Already, the Culver City lot is off to a great start with Bad Boys for Life the highest-grossing pic in that franchise with $148M domestic, $290.8M WW.
Among the studios delivering presentations at CinemaCon, which is celebrating its 10th year as that brand (previously known as ShoWest), include Disney, Lionsgate, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. Uni will also be screening a movie, and the confab is in talks with another studio to screen an upcoming title. Focus Features will also be transitioning from its standard lunch on Thursday to the main Colosseum stage at Caesar’s for a big presentation.