The Comic-Con for movie theater owners, CinemaCon, is just around the corner and the National Association of Theatre Owners is beginning to announce the winners of the annual CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards (or whatever they are going to call it this year). These, ahem, “awards,” are often “thank yous” to big stars for making commercially friendly movies and also reminders from the studios that such and such newcomer is someone who might make you a lot of money if you promote their movie in your theater!
(Really, that's what these awards are for.)
Last year, CinemaCon got lucky with a hilarious, R-rated acceptance speech from Adam Sandler and a moving appearance by Shailene Woodley (who might have been taking the award a bit too seriously). This year, attendees are pretty much guaranteed some laughs after Amy Schumer was announced for CinemaCon's 2015 Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award.
Schumer has already earned rave reviews for her upcoming comedy “Trainwreck,” which will be hitting theaters in July, but this will be an important stop on her promo tour for the movie. An event like CinemaCon will be an opportunity for Universal Pictures to drive home the message of how funny the Judd Apatow-directed flick is and that it can be a mid-summer smash. The studio went all out for “Neighbors” last year and is, no doubt, hoping to duplicate that success. Schumer did a masterful job presenting Tilda Swinton with an honor at last year's Gotham Awards, but hasn't had the opportunity to take home any real hardware herself yet. Forgive us if we put high expectations on her acceptance speech.
Earlier this week, CinemaCon announced an event outside of the award show which serves a similar purpose. “The Legend of Cinema Luncheon: A Salute to Clint Eastwood” is exactly what it sounds like and will give theater owners a chance to give the iconic filmmaker a well deserved standing ovation for making them so much money with “American Sniper” and other films over his long and illustrious career. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 22. Eastwood received a lot of love at least year's CinemaCon when he made a surprise appearance for “Jersey Boys” during the Warner Bros. panel. The idea that “Sniper” could even be released before the end of the year wasn't even a rumor at that point. Amazing what can happen in half a year.
CinemaCon will run from April 20-23. The CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards will be held on the closing night, April 23. Look for complete coverage from HitFix during the entire Con.