It literally starts with a bang and goes 10 miles an hour,” said Source Code director Duncan Jones at the NYC screening of his sci-fi actioner at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. At the afterparty, guests mingled with stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright and enjoyed mini-burgers and cocktails made with Purity vodka. Even Lindsay Lohan stopped by, one day after being photographed falling face down on a New York street. (She insisted the incident occurred because she’d been telling friends a joke, not drinking.) Gyllenhaal took a serious turn, though, when asked about the central conceit of the film: If you knew you only had eight minutes to live, what would you do? Said the actor, “If I could enter somebody’s body for eight minutes like this computer program allows you to do for the last minutes of your life and stop a catastrophe from happening, all I think about constantly in these past few weeks has been Japan.”
CinemaCon | Las Vegas, March 28-31
The inaugural CinemaCon (previously called ShoWest) at Caesars Palace went off without a hitch — minus a last-minute dust-up between studios and exhibitors over a new premium VOD service. The big hit: The 4,000-seat Colosseum at Caesars, where studios got to present their upcoming reels and parade talent. (Celine Dion’s new show at the Colosseum, considered the best house on the Strip, went dark for the week.) Sony even turned the lobby into a real-life zoo for a screening of Zookeeper. “People warned me that working in exhibition would be like working in a zoo,” AMC’s Gerry Lopez quipped before the movie rolled. “I guess they were right.” Perhaps the biggest discovery was DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots, which bowled over exhibs. And, for the first time, the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation held its annual awards dinner in conjunction with the convention, this year honoring former Disney Studios chief Dick Cook. — Pamela McClintock
Hope For Japan | April 1
When Jackie Chan called on his friends to join him for a benefit concert for disaster victims in Japan, he had an interesting problem. “There were too many performers … 300 showed up!” said the actor, above, with singer Agnes Chan (no relation). Held in Victoria Park, the show included performances by The Wonder Girls, Judy Ongg and Lionel Richie, via satellite from Australia, and raised more than $3.3 million for the Salvation Army to provide emergency relief packs. “For years, my Japanese fans have made a great effort to raise money for my charity, to build schools in China and to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake. It’s time to return the favor,” said Chan.