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LAS VEGAS — Paramount kicked off the start of CinemaCon — the annual convention for theater owners — with a star-studded presentation, bringing Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Will Arnett to the stage.
The presentation featured first looks at the trailers for several of Paramount’s summer films, including Hercules, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
The show kicked off with National Association of Theater Owners managing director Mitch Neuhauser dropping down from the ceiling dressed in an authentic Ron Burgundy costume from Anchorman 2.
Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore then took the stage to introduce Paramount’s upcoming slate. He kicked things off with Hercules star Johnson, who strolled through the crowd before taking the stage.
“Before we started shooting Hercules, Paramount, MGM and I made a pact,” Johnson told the crowd. “The goal was for me to completely disappear into the character — hair, makeup, prosthetic penis.”
The trailer was shown for the very first time, featuring Johnson playing the larger-than-life character. The strong footage featured Johnson’s character battling giant boars and massive armies, wearing a striking lion’s head atop his own long locks.
Will Arnett took the stage next — via Segway. He introduced the world premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. “Heroes are not born — they’re created,” says the voiceover in the trailer, which showed the CG-created heroes (who are very, very large) sliding down snow-covered mountains and trying not to scare off April (Megan Fox).
Wahlberg — who brought his 10-year-old daughter to Vegas — hit the stage to tout the new Transformers. He told the crowd that Michael Bay could not attend but wanted the crowd to know that the effects were not final on the trailer Wahlberg was about to introduce.
“The only place that Michael Bay’s movies should be seen is in the theaters,” said Wahlberg, adding: “This will be the biggest movie of 2014.”
A lengthy amount of footage was shown for Bay’s film, which stars Wahlberg as a struggling inventor who discovers a Transformer. His daughter is taken hostage by a menacing bot, which leads to Wahlberg doing everything he can to go after her.
Additionally, Paramount announced that Bay’s low-budget found-footage movie — which was supposed to open on Feb. 28 — will now be released in January 2015. Previously called Almanac, but then changed to Welcome to Yesterday, the film is now called Project Almanac. Paramount is partnering with MTV Films in marketing the project.
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