CinemaCon: Paramount Places Bets on Denzel Washington's 'Fences,' Brad Pitt's 'Allied'

Denzel Washington Portrait Carousel - H 2012
Mark Seliger © 2012 Paramount Pictures

Denzel Washington Portrait Carousel - H 2012

The studio opened the annual convention for theater owners with a look at its upcoming slate and dated Meryl Streep's 'Florence Foster Jenkins.'

Paramount kicked off CinemaCon, the National Association of Theatre Owners' annual convention, with its slate presentation Monday night, giving exhibitors a sneak peek at the studio's upcoming films.

The studio dated Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep for Aug. 12, 2016, and renamed Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, which was previously called Five Seconds of Silence, opening Nov. 23, 2016.

Paramount also officially announced that the studio is making Denzel Washington's next directorial project, Fences, in which he'll star with Viola Davis. Both actors are Tony Award winners for their performances in the play’s 2010 Broadway revival.

Scott Rudin and Todd Black are producing Fences, which is an adaptation of August Wilson’s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film will use Wilson's own big-screen adaptation of his play, which follows a onetime promising baseball player who works as a Pittsburgh garbage collector. Paramount plans to start shooting in April.

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The first footage from Florence Foster Jenkins, also starring Hugh Grant, also debuted. The film stars Streep as a New York heiress who became an opera singer but was notoriously bad at singing. 

Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, hosted the presentation, which included new footage from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel, sci-fi film Story of Your Life starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and Zemeckis’ Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marrion Cotillard.

Renner and Adams took the stage to present  Denis Villeneuve's Story of Your Life, with Renner praising Adams’ work on the movie. “There’s not enough cinema in Hollywood where we have a strong, female, badass lead,” he said. The new trailer showed Adams as a linguist who is recruited to help speak to aliens who have invaded Earth.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows stars Will Arnett and Megan Fox presented a new trailer for the film, which opens June 3. They did a bit where Arnett had pizza delivered to the stage and then gave it back to an unsuspecting attendee.  

Jack Huston, the star of Paramount and MGM’s Ben-Hur remake, took the stage to talk about the film, which hits theaters in August. The studio announced that the opening has shifted from Aug. 12 to Aug. 19.

The studio also showed new trailers from the new Jack Reacher film (starring Tom Cruise) and horror film The Rings.

The presentation wrapped with J. J. Abrams receiving the Showman of the Year award. Simon Pegg introduced his Star Trek director.

“We have to adapt, and it's going to be required all of us,” he told the crowd of theater owners about the changing moviegoing landscape. “In my opinion, it’s simple: there is nothing better than going to the movies, and there never will be.”

CinemaCon runs April 11-14 in Las Vegas.