Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Thursday, Apr. 14, 2016
CinemaCon: Amazon Studios To Work With Theaters; Another "Avatar" Sequel Announced
Director James Cameron addresses the audience during the 20th Century Fox presentation at CinemaCon 2016, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), at Caesars Palace on Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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Amazon Studios plans to work together with theaters, not against, says studio exec Bob Berney. The burgeoning movie studio presented to the CinemaCon audience Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Berney and Amazon Studios head Roy Price stressed that their primary goal is to provide theatrical audiences with quality films. Price added that “almost all” will have traditional theatrical windows before being made available on streaming services — the threat of which is perhaps the biggest elephant in the room at the annual gathering of theater owners.

Since releasing Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq” last year, Amazon Studios has been aggressively diving into the movie acquisition and production business and have a number of high profile theatrical releases planned this year including Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester By the Sea.”

Sequels for Avatar, Deadpool
20th Century Fox had its eyes on the future at CinemaCon, where it was revealed that not only was a “Deadpool” sequel in the works with star Ryan Reynolds and director Tim Miller, but that James Cameron would be making a fourth “Avatar” sequel.

Cameron had previously announced plans to make three follow-ups to his visionary box office juggernaut, but said Thursday that there was just too much material for only three movies. The first of the four will roll out in 2018 with the subsequent films coming in 2020, 2022, and 2023.

The confirmation of a “Deadpool” sequel, however, was no big surprise to anyone. The first film came out earlier this year and was a massive hit for the studio, grossing over $757 million worldwide on a production budget of only $58 million.

Fox always puts on a big show at the annual convention of theater owners and this year kicked off the morning’s proceedings with Vanilla Ice performing “Ice Age, Baby” — a riff on his 26-year-old hit in promotion of the studio’s “Ice Age: Collision,” out this summer.

The studio also rolled out new trailers for “X-Men: Apocalypse,” focusing heavily on Jennifer Lawrence’s character Raven, and “Independence Day: Resurgence.” Returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and director Roland Emmerich were on site to tease the new film, which takes place 20 years after the first.

Both arrive in theaters this summer.

Later, audiences got an early look at a new trailer for Sundance breakout “The Birth of a Nation,” out on Oct. 7.

Director and star Nate Parker was in attendance to preview his film about slave rebellion leader Nat Turner. Fox Searchlight paid a record $17.5 million for the film, which is expected to be a big awards contender this year.

The studio also showed some new footage from director Tim Burton’s fantastical “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” out this September. The film, starring Eva Green and Asa Butterfield, is adapted from the best-selling Ransom Riggs novel about a group of children with magical powers.