CinemaCon 2021 kicked off tonight in Las Vegas with a presentation from Sony Pictures Entertainment. As you’ve likely already heard, this event included the official debut of the first teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: No Way Home and I was lucky enough to be part of the first audience to see it on the big screen. You can check out the trailer here and for a more detailed look at the event, keep reading this recap.
Introduced by CinemaCon’s organizer Mitch Neuhauser, who reaffirmed NATO’s stance that there’s no replacement for seeing movies on the big screen, Sony took the stage. As the only major media company without their own streaming service at this point, the introductions were decidedly damning of the studios that do, all of whom have released at least some movies on streaming the same day as their theatrical debut. Mud was flung right out of the gate by Josh Greenstein, President of Sony’s Motion Picture Group. While Greenstein never went as far as naming another studio while affirming Sony’s stance as the only major studio committed to a traditional theatrical release window, it seemed obvious that his fingers were pointing first at Disney, then Warner Bros, with a less enthusiastic flourish at Universal Studios and Paramount.
If the case wasn’t clear already that Disney was under fire, the next speaker was Sony’s domestic releasing president Adrian Smith, who anecdotally shared that he saw Free Guy in a theater and that it’s doing well at the box office as a direct result of it being unavailable anywhere else. Anyway, this then led into a sizzle reel of Sony’s upcoming film slate, which featured a lot of Spider-Man-adjacent projects (Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Morbius and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2). Despite there also being fast-moving shots of Tom Holland from another project (Uncharted), they acted like he was obviously absent and then queued up a pre-recorded video of Tom Holland and Benedict Cumberbatch introducing the trailer. It was a clunky introduction, but the trailer more than made up for it.
Rather than going through more teases of Sony’s upcoming film slate, which admittedly looks impressive and will eventually come to the Disney Bundle of streaming services, Sony put all their eggs in one basket: Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Ivan and Jason Reitman appeared on stage live and in person to introduce the film, which screened in full ahead of its November 11th theatrical release date. We were asked not to spoil anything or review the film, which is still under embargo. But if you grew up with the original films, it captures the spirit (pun intended) and has a sentimental payoff.
Stay tuned for more news from CinemaCon all week long on Laughing Place.
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).