How Universal Doubled Down on Big Movies and Came Out on Top [Variety]

How Universal Doubled Down on Big Movies and Came Out on Top [Variety]

BY MATT DONNELLY

May 7, 2024 | Hollywood executives are much more accustomed to pointing a spotlight rather than occupying one. There are exceptions like CinemaCon, the annual gathering of global movie theater owners in Las Vegas. It’s here that the studio chiefs hope to dazzle exhibitors with upcoming film slates, celebrity cameos and exciting new footage. All this to say: “We promise to put butts in your seats, and buckets of popcorn in their laps.”

Last month at the convention, it was nearly the end of the Universal Pictures presentation and Donna Langley — chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group and the newly minted chief content officer of NBCUniversal Studio Group — had yet to step on stage.

Her team showed off glimpses of the sexy, action-packed tornado sequel “Twisters,” the Gen Z-leaning creepfest “Nosferatu” from Robert Eggers and an extended sequence from the latest installment of Illumination’s “Despicable Me” series. But where was Langley, the woman whose status has risen astronomically since her promotion (on top of a 2022 appointment to dame of the British empire, and inclusion on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list)? Waiting in the wings to show off her studio’s biggest bet for 2024, the first part of a two-film adaptation of the smash stage musical “Wicked.”

Read more on Variety.

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