CinemaCon | Fox Previews <i>Epic</i>, <i>The Wolverine</i>, <i>Rio 2</i> and More

At CinemaCon, there are many types of presentations abound, with some studios showing mere glimpses of upcoming releases while others turn on the projector and walk away. Twentieth Century Fox fell into the latter category when it laid out its lineup for 2013 and 2014: New action, adventure, comedies and possibly Oscar hopefuls were mentioned, with animation set to be the glue holding the years together.

A new Blue Sky Studios logo was unveiled featuring a certain “Ice Age” character that seems destined for trouble whenever acorns are present. Hanging on to the “B” in blue, Scrat helped tie in the past and future possibilities as he opened the animation slate.

First out of the gate Epic (opening May 24), which features the vocal talents of everyone from actors Colin Farrell and Christopher Waltz to musical talents Beyoncé and Pitbull. The trailer revealed a world where being little is a big deal. The look and theme of the film can best be described as A Bug’s Life mixed with Ferngully: The Last Rainforest and a hint of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Next up was a musical number and movie trailer from the birds of South America. Rio 2 sambaed its way onto the screen with Blu and the cast jumping and shaking to a Latin beat. It ended by flipping to a screen where Nigel, voiced once again by Jermaine Clement, exclaimed, “Keep smiling, I’ll be pooping on your party soon.”

The fun continued with a promise of excitement and something old made new. A clip began with the sun breaking over a horizon with bombastic horns and drums marching toward a climax. A quick pull back exposed the huge rounded dome to be the head of none other than Charlie Brown. The Peanuts movie was announced with a 2105 release date to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the beloved comic strip. A clean look that complements the characters well promises a fun 3D adventure with Snoopy and the gang.

The next blast from the past also came in the form of a lovable dog, although this one is a genius with glasses. Mr. Peabody and Sherman are back, and jump from 2D to 3D in a new time-traveling adventure.

Making a quick drive through the presentation was Turbo, an accidental genetically modified snail with the speed to turn heads. The clip shown finds a young snail, slow as ever, but with a definitive need for speed. Through some high-flying circumstances he finds himself in the engine of a car where his very cells are changed thanks to the nitro in the cars NOS system. Part snail and part car, you can catch this blur in 2D, 3D and IMAX beginning July 17.

Closing up the animation block was fan-favorite Toothless and his rider Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon 2. The scene opened with an armored Hiccup riding his dragon over the seas and through the skies. At the apex of the flight, rider and dragon part, only to free-fall together, smiling all the way. As they approach ground level the audience is surprised by Hiccup’s newest invention: Glider wings sprout from his side, allowing him and Toothless to fly off side by side. Expect this duo to hit theater in June 2014.

The presentation continued with a pretty serious lineup of comedy, action and drama. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy appeared on stage to introduce their upcoming comedy The Heat (June 28), in which they play mismatched law-enforcement officers.

Following that, Fox offered a glimpse of The Internship (June 7), in which Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star as a couple of out of work salesmen looking to break the age barrier, but in reverse.

A trailer for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Aug 7), which has already made the rounds online, brings back the son of Poseidon, who must once again save the world from mythical enemies and deadly beasts.

The studio then premiered four new trailers, beginning with Runner, Runner, which stars Justin Timberlake as an unlucky online gambler named Richie who tracks down the shady owner of a gambling website named Ivan Block, played by Ben Affleck. Spotting something in Richie, Ivan decides to take him under his wing. Little does Richie know that violence, anger and pain are part of the job description. Also starring Brad Pitt, Gemma Arterton and Anthony Mackie; the film opens Sept. 27.

Another suspenseful addition is the Cormac McCarthy scripted The Counselor (Nov. 15), which stars Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. The film follows Fassbender’s character as he traverses the world of drug trafficking. Bardem’s character looks to be the starting point for all violence and action.

On the opposite side of the family spectrum comes Walking with Dinosaurs in 3D, featuring a land filled with epic battles and huge beasts. The clip showed the journey of a young triceratops as it grows up to take its place as an alpha dinosaur.

The last trailer was for The Wolverine (July 26), which showed many of the scenes that are already in the current trailer. In addition to what we’ve already seen, the new teaser featured a flash of mutant powers, plus a shot of the Silver Samurai.

The presentation came to an end with actors Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig arriving onstage to present a good chunk of their new movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (Dec. 25). Directed and produced by Stiller, the remake of the 1947 classic tells of a man who escapes the hardships of reality by day dreaming a new life for himself.

Stiller stars as title character, a less-than-interesting photo librarian at Life magazine. Barely noticed and never thought of, Walter must escape into his mind to find the hero in himself and the happiness he so desires. Wiig stars as his love. When Walters’s job requires him to step up, only his daydreams can help him make the decisions needed to move forward in life. Leaving his comfort zone leads to new adventures in reality and countless action packed chapters in his mind.

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