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On Wednesday morning, Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios held its inaugural CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas.
Allen spent the first half of the presentation selling himself. He recounted his Los Angeles upbringing, his time as a stand-up, entrance and rise in television and finally his path into film with “a shark movie.”
Last year at the conference, the company previewed one film, 47 Meters Down, which would go on to find success at the box office and launch Entertainment Studios’ film division that later acquired Christian Bale-starring Hostiles and Ted Kennedy movie Chappaquiddick. (Entertainment Studios has since greenlighted an unsurprisingly titled sequel, 48 Meters Down.)
The presentation was part motivational speech, part call to action. “Remember you are the kings and you are the queens and this is your consumer,” he said to the ballroom room full of exhibitors.
He then called out the major studios for trying to shorten theatrical windows and for capitalizing talent with exclusive deals, while promoting the story-centric smaller outfits like Annapurna, STX and Neon. “These are my competitors but these are people who are fighting hard for the entire industry,” he said.
At the end of the presentation, Allen previewed the Keanu Reeves-starrer Replicas, but before he played the trailer he left exhibitors with one final thought. “We have to send a really strong message to the independents that you aren’t just depending on the big studios,” Allen concluded. “You support us, as well, and that you value our partnership.”
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