Lionsgate 2022 Cinemacon Showcase Recap

Bob Bagley of NATO opened the show by challenging everyone to invite two people back to the theater to see a movie. He mentioned how vital Lionsgate is to the movie industry, and that Lionsgate is a studio that provides great content every day of the year.


Next to the stage, David Spitz, President of Domestic Distribution talked about what makes a movie theatrical. He shared how Lionsgate takes into consideration what it takes to get someone to get off the couch and come to the theater. That is their focus.


David then introduced comedian Sebastian Maniscalco – Star of About my Father.

Sebastian gave a comedy routine about the attendees of the convention and how Las Vegas has changed over the years. After his routine, he introduced the first of six movies.


The first film was Exend4ables (Expendables 4). Via video, one of the stars of the movie, 50 Cent introduced the trailer. This is an action-packed movie with a host of big-name actors with a release date of 2023.


The second movie Sebastian introduced was The Devil’s Light – A story about a nun who as a child was traumatized as childhood when her mother became possessed by a demon. As a nun, she becomes an Exorcist. She discovers that a little girl she is called to perform an exorcism on is possessed by the same demon that possessed her mother.


The next film introduced by Sebastian was written by Judy Blume in 1970 – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, starring Rachel McAdams and Abby Ryder Fortson. Both actors appeared in-person to introduce the movie. The story is about a little girl asking God if he is there (listening) as she prays for guidance before moving to a big city in New Jersey; a coming-of-age story about a young girl trying to fit in. The film also stars actor Kathy Bates.


The fourth Film previewed was White Bird: A Wonder Story. Helen Mirren via video sent a special message about the film. The story, also starring Julia Roberts, is about a little boy who has a disability (disfigured) who does his best to fit in. When another boy is expelled for making fun of him, Helen Mirren tells of her experience as a little girl. This non-linear film takes you back to 1940s Germany as she reminisces about when she was a little girl during the Nazis’ occupation when she was a little Jewish girl who was hidden by a family to keep from being captured by the Nazis.


Sebastian introduced the next film that was co-written by him – About My Father. The story is loosely based on his life. As he put it, “Mostly true story”. It’s a story of two families coming together from two different backgrounds. Sebastian wanted to make a movie where you can take the family; a movie where the entire family can talk about what they just saw as a unit. The cast, Robert De Niro, Leslie Bibb, and Kim Cattrall, introduce the film in person on stage. De Niro plays Sebastian’s father in the movie and Sebastian plays himself. Leslie Bibb talked about how she auditioned for her part over Zoom. Sebastian shared how his mother-in-law bragged about Kim Cattrall portrayed her.


In his version of this life, Sebastian meets his wife’s family who happens to be wealthy. He’s Italian and she is Jewish. It’s a story of when opposites attract – opposites in beliefs and personalities. If the movie is anything like the clip, it is hilarious.


Joe Drake, Chairman – Motion Picture Group, was then introduced to the audience. Joe praised Sebastian. He pointed out this was the second movie De Niro plays an Italian immigrant who comes to America – The God Father being the first. Joe talked about his experience growing up and seeing movies. talked about his feelings about having the experience of sharing a movie with an audience, and that you can’t compare that with watching a movie on the small screen (television). He shared how Lionsgate offers a variation of movies, a movie for everyone.


Joe then got excited as he shared the movie franchise, John Wick. He shared how the Director, Chad Stahelski’ vision of the film franchise came partly from his days as a stunt man in Hollywood.


Then, Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski were as introduced to the stage. Keanu made it funny by not following the teleprompter. It was great. Made it real. In the tradition of John Wick, the trailer offers the adventure and action you have come to expect from a Keanu Reeves and a Chad Stahelski film.


After the introduction of John Wick, all the cast that was there in person from all the films came back on stage to thank the attendees for being there.


Joe Drake and Sebastian were funny together as they ended the presentation.


After they left the stage, clips from a few more upcoming productions by Lionsgate were shown to the audience – Borderlands, Ballerina, and coming out in 2023: Next chapter of Dirty Dancing, a return to the games, The Hunger Games: The ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes.


Lionsgate truly has a film for anyone and everyone.