The Walt Disney Studios’ presentation at CinemaCon has historically included a preview of several exciting upcoming projects in addition to a film screening. At the end of July, the studio announced that they would not be sending any representatives to the in-person event over concerns about the rising number of Coronavirus cases. It was then announced that they would be screening Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, but you just never know with Disney.
With the event now in the past, I confirmed that this is exactly what happened. There wasn’t so much as a mention of any other projects from Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Studios, Pixar Animation Studios or Lucasfilm. Kevin Feige filmed an introduction to the film, joined by Simu Liu and Awkwafina. If you want to know more about the film, check out Mack’s full review here.
Rolando B. Rodriguez, CEO and President of Marcus Theatres and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for NATO (National Association of Theatre Owners) briefly spoke before the screening. As I’ve pointed out in my recap of the presentations from Sony and Warner Bros., the tone of CinemaCon has been tense, with most theater owners and executives unhappy with studios like Disney, who have launched their own streaming services and have made films available for streaming on the same day as the theatrical release. No mention of Disney’s Premier Access fee was mentioned, but my Spidey-sense told me many in the audience were thinking it.
In the same way that Warner Bros. tried to win the NATO group over by highlighting the fact that they have released more films to theaters than any other studio since March of 2020, Rodriguez made similar praise for Disney. Citing Free Guy’s box office performance as proof of Disney’s commitment to theater owners, he also added that Disney released 28 of the 48 films that have crossed the worldwide $1 billion mark. While the current global market makes Shang-Chi unlikely to reach that level of box office revenue, its close ties to the upcoming events of the MCU’s Phase 4 makes it a must-see film for Marvel fans and one they won’t want to wait to have spoiled for them before it comes to home video or Disney+.
That’s a wrap for our coverage of CinemaCon. I hope you’ve enjoyed our recaps. I had a great time and look forward top attending the event next year.
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).