CineEurope: Warner Bros. Sneaks 'Pacific Rim' for Foreign Theater Owners
BARCELONA – Warner Bros. came armed to CineEurope on Monday with never-before-seen footage of a number of high-profile films -- including Gravity and Tom Cruise's All You Need Is Kill -- in addition to showing Guillermo del Toro's upcoming monster-robot mashup Pacific Rim to a public audience for the first time.
Hosting the studio's presentation was longtime president of international distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg. Just as she was addressing the annual convention of international exhibitors in Barcelona, Warners issued a statement announcing that she's also in line to head up domestic distribution once Dan Fellman retires (the announcement was part of a larger succession plan addressing Jeff Robinov's exit as film studio chief).
Upon Fellman's retirement, Vandenberg will become president of worldwide distribution. A Warners spokesman declined to say when Fellman, whose contract is being renewed for some amount of time, intends to depart.
On Monday, Vandenberg was all business as she touted the studio's upcoming slate and thanked theater owners for taking such good care of Warners films, including Superman pic Man of Steel, which has earned nearly $200 million internationally.
Vandenberg brought a taped message from Tom Cruise touting next year's alien apocalyptic epic All You Need Is Kill, directed by Doug Liman. "Doug takes a genre we think we all know and turns it on his head," Cruise remarked.
There also was a taped message from Alfonso Cuaron, director of space thriller Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. The film is out this fall after being pushed back for reshoots.
But the highlight for exhibitors was the screening of Legendary Pictures' Pacific Rim, which begins its worldwide theatrical assault in early July. Vandenberg also shared concept footage from Godzilla, another film Legendary is backing. Other titles touted included Grudge Match, starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro, Winter's Tale and 300: Rise of an Empire.
The presentation closed with footage of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, out in December. There was also a taped message from Jackson, and a message from stars Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly -- although no one broached the subject of 48 frames per second, the controversial format used by Jackson to shoot the Hobbit trilogy.
Later Monday evening, WB screened raunchy Jennifer Aniston/Jason Sudeikis comedy We're the Millers in full for CineEurope attendees.