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Live booming kettle drums heralded the start of Lionsgate’s presentation on the last day of the CineEurope trade show on Thursday, providing the opening fanfare for the finale of the studio’s biggest asset.
Not only were the audiences treated to the first image of Jennifer Lawrence in her new red outfit for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, but the actress herself – via a video message – introduced footage from the film, plus the never-before-seen trailer due out in a month.
“It’s the biggest and best yet,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group’s co-chair Rob Friedman.
Another teen franchise given a major shout out was the Divergent series, with its stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James offering a brief wave from the Atlanta set of the third installment, Allegiant. “See you in theaters next March,” said Woodley.
Elsewhere there was room for some major new IP, with Vin Diesel serving up exclusive new footage from his actioner The Last Witch Hunter.
“It’s special to me because I got to share the stage with the legendary Michael Caine,” he revealed in a recorded message.
An early look was provided for Sean Penn’s latest directorial stint, Africa-set drama The Last Face, plus footage from the Point Break remake and festive comedy Love The Coopers.
In historic epic Gods of Egypt, co-chair Patrick Wachsberger said Lionsgate had a “big tentpole” title, which introduced the sort of “stunning world not seen since Avatar or The Mummy.” A sneak peek of the film – due out in April – was unveiled.
For Deepwater Horizon, director Peter Berg showed the audience a video of the fake oil rig erected in New Orleans for the BP disaster story. “It’s one of the biggest sets ever built,” he said, while Wachsberger described the film as “Towering Inferno meets The Perfect Storm.”
A sneak peek was also offered for Now You See Me 2, the sequel to 2013’s unexpected $350 million-earning smash, with Friedman admitting that Lionsgate was “already planning” the third.
For A Monster Calls, based on the bestselling children’s book by Patrick Ness, director Juan Antonio Bayona was invited on stage to introduce exclusive clips. “It’s a magical adventure everyone can relate to,” he said, adding that the special effects being deployed were more impressive than his last feature, 2012’s The Impossible.
“If you thought the tsunami we created was impressive, wait till you see the final scene,” he said.
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