“I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Denzel Washington told a Colosseum-full of exhibition executives at CinemaCon.
The star of The Equalizer 3 — first trailer dropping tomorrow — received a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by director Antoine Fuqua during Sony’s presentation, which kicked off the annual four day-event in Las Vegas.
“We would be nothing without you all. We’re here for you. We’re here because of you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been blessed beyond measure,” Washington said.
“True movie stars matter more than ever,” studio chief Tom Rothman noted in opening remarks. “Streaming doesn’t create movie stars, only true global hit movies do.” And Sony, he stressed to the room, “is the only major motion pictures studio dedicated entirely to theatrical” with a variety of films from superheros to Where The Crawdads Sing to A Man Called Otto.
“You know the more they say those genres are dead, the more we like it. Originality is always a risk. But to me, I have always felt the bigger risk is boring the audience to death with sameness.” said Rothman.
Washington, added Fuqua, “doesn’t like being called a movie star… I think audiences have come to know what to expect from Denzel, a sense of honor, dignity and morals, commitment to what’s right and determination to see that through.”
The Equalizer trailer previewed opens to the strains of Volare. Robert McCall (Washington) is living quietly in Italy where he’s “one of us now,” says a local. When the mafia turns up, as one character says, “They’re like cancer, no cure” and Robert must protect his friends.