CinemaCon, NAB, Cancel On Vegas Due To Coronavirus Concerns

NAB Leaves Open The Possibility Of A Later Date For This Year

Associated Press
March 12, 2020 - 5:52 am
General atmosphere during the CinemaCon 2018 The State of the Industry and Walt Disney Studios Presentation at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon 2017

Ethan MIller/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (AP) —  The coronovirus outbreak continues to cost Las Vegas shows and conventions, with two big events announcing their cancellation on Wednesday.

The annual movie exhibition and trade show CinemaCon has been canceled, scuttling one of Hollywood’s premier hype machines.

The week-long conference, which brings together everyone from Hollywood studio executives and celebrities to movie theater owners and equipment and concession manufacturers, had been scheduled to begin March 30 at Caesars Palace.

The cancellation was announced Wednesday in a joint statement by John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, and CinemaCon’s managing director, Mitch Neuhauser.

“While local outbreaks vary widely in severity, the global circumstances make it impossible for us to mount the show that our attendees have come to expect,” they said. “After consultation with our attendees, trade show exhibitors, sponsors, and studio presenters, NATO has decided therefore to cancel CinemaCon 2020.”

Hollywood studios including The Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Universal, Lionsgate, Paramount and Focus Features had planned big presentations of their upcoming slates, with new footage, trailers and appearances from A-list talent. This year entertainers like Michael B. Jordan, Carey Mulligan, Antoine Fuqua and Glen Powell were expected to attend the conference’s awards ceremony on April 2.

Organizers had sent out several updates to attendees about plans for enhanced health and sanitation measures at the ninth annual gathering, noting also that delegates from China, Japan, Korea and Italy had canceled their attendance.

It’s the latest virus-related shakeup in the movie business that has in the past few weeks seen the theatrical releases of the new James Bond and Peter Rabbit movies delayed and film festivals, like South by Southwest, canceled.

The cancellation of CinemaCon came shortly after representatives of the National Association of Broadcasters announced the postponement of their convention, scheduled for April. Several high profile vendors and exhibitors had canceled in the past few days, citing coronavirus fears. 

A full statement from the NAB can be seen here.