CinemaCon : Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, Pain & Gain


With the tragic Boston bombing lingering large in people’s minds, it was a rather subdued kick-off to CinemaCon in, according to those in attendance. Nonetheless, the studio’s pushed their product hard with Paramount showcasing three of their big releases on Monday – “Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Pain & Gain”, and “World War Z”, which is shaping up to be a bigger hit and better film than online buzz may have immediately, and initially perceived it to be.

According to Deadline, the 18 minutes of footage screened from “Star Trek Into Darkness” wowed audiences.

“The 18 minutes of footage shown in 3D certainly confirmed that, with hair-raising scenes set in a volcano, underwater, and for a sequence where Kirk hurls through space like a human cannonball. Exciting stuff, and the exhibitors ate it up” says the site, adding that “Minimal footage was shown of this Trek’s new villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch who plays a terrorist.” had a more detailed summary of the “Trek” footage shown :

“There were two sequences shown at Cinemacon. The first was an extended version of the IMAX preview shown with The Hobbit. The additional bits showed Kirk decide to take the ship out of the ocean in order to save Spock by transporting him out of the Volcano. The sequence ends showing the Nibiru natives looking up at the Enterprise and beginning to pray to it (Holy Prime Directive Violation!).
“The second scene takes place apparently much later in the movie. It starts with Kirk walking into the Enterprise sickbay to confront Harrison (Cumberbatch) to reveal everything he knows about “that ship.” Harrison clearly knows a lot rattling off details such as “Dreadnaught Class. Two times the size – three times the speed – advanced weaponry – minimal crew…built solely for combat.” Kirk then convinces Harrison to help him, after some banter Kirk promises “you said you would do anything for your crew, I can guarantee their safety.” Harrison is dubious but Kirk returns “are you coming with me or not?”
“Specifically Kirk wants Harrison to come with him to another Starship – this ‘Dreadnaught class’ ship is the ship that has been discussed in analysis on And apparently this other Federation ship has damaged Enterprise severely. Kirk and Harrison then prepare to go over to the ship but first Kirk calls Scotty who is already on the other ship (why he is there is not explained). Harrison starts barking instructions to Scotty and Pegg’s lightens things up by incredulously saying things like “are you crazy? whoever you are” to Harrison. Scotty isn’t too happy about the idea of opening an airlock to let Kirk and Harrison in after they space jump over, but he sets about to make it happen.
“Kirk and Harrison then get into space suits prepare to launch out of the Enterprise and have to navigate a debris field. At the same time Scotty is trying to get things ready on the other ship. There are also shots of Spock, McCoy and Sulu on the bridge. There is a classic exchange between Spock and McCoy where Spock says he doesn’t have “the information or confidence” to confirm if the plan will work, and McCoy quips “you’re a real comfort.”
“Kirk and Harrison then get launched into the debris field where they have to dodge around towards the other ship where Scotty is frantically trying to prepare to open an airlock without getting sucked into space (he isn’t wearing a spacesuit). Eventually Kirk’s faceplate gets cracked, adding to the tension. And to make things worse Scotty gets confronted by a very large security guy (not in standard Starfleet uniform) who doesn’t seem to buy Scotty’s story that he is just there to “do a wee bit of maintenance on the airlock console.”
“As Kirk and Harrison get closer Scotty continues to deal with the big guy aiming a phaser at him. Scotty asks him if he is Starfleet or “private security.” The reason becomes clear soon enough because Scotty opens the hatch and launches the guy out the airlock while he has strapped himself in–essentially killing the big guy with the gun. Soon after Kirk and Harrison fly through the opening and afer closing the airlock Scotty quips “welcome aboard.” And that was the end of the sequence.
“Even though the industry crowd should be jaded, the reaction was quite strong. Pegg got a lot of laughs and the post-Paramount presentation buzz was very good. Both sequences showed a great combination of action, amazing effects, humor and still plenty amount of good ol’ Star Trek exposition (and even some light technobabble). As for big spoilers, the second sequence confirmed that the enemy ship Kirk is facing is a Federation ship (or looks like one) and confirms that Harrison is indeed called “Harrison” in the movie. The somewhat unexpected twist is how Kirk and Harrison are forced to work together to deal with who ever is controlling that other ship. So ironically after seeing this sequence you may have more questions than you started with…Abrams!!!

“In the first film, Kirk got the chair a bit too prematurely,” Variety quotes Chris Pine as saying pre-presentation. “In this installment, we see Kirk earn the chair.”

“World War Z” was promoted heavily, with star Brad Pitt on hand to charm the crowd before showing off some impressive footage.

“Four years ago I knew nothing about Zombies but now I consider myself an expert,” Pitt said. “This whole thing started because I just wanted to do a film my boys could see before they turned 18, one they liked anyway and they loved Zombies. So we settled on Max Brooks’ book called World War Z. We were faced with two Herculean challenges. How do we keep the global spectacular dynamic scope of the book and how do we originate a Zombie film that’s been done quite often and really really well? What you are about to see is our answer to those two questions. We got a little carried away. I think you are going to like this as much as my boys are going to.”

As for the footage? “the footage showed the opening sequences of an initial Zombie attack, another where Pitt attempts to find a way to keep them out of a walled-in-Jerusalem, and a harrowing scene set on an airliner where Zombies are turned loose on the passengers.”

Michael Bay was on hand to promote “Pain & Gain” – which was screened in full – but couldn’t help but take the opportunity to promote his “Ninja Turtles” reboot, noting that Stanley Tucci had joined the cast.