“This is why I love coming here, because the energy is always so low,” comedian Kevin Hart joked during the Universal presentation at CinemaCon, the annual trade convention of the National Association of Theater Owners. Hart was one of many celebrities pandering to theater executives to promote their upcoming movies, but CinemaCon attendees have seen it all, and even superstars usually only get polite applause when they show up onstage at the Caesars Palace Colosseum during one of the movie studios’ elaborate presentations.
It’s easy to get jaded about the latest bombastic blockbusters and variations on junk food, both of which get extensive showcases at CinemaCon. But there are always quirky new products at the trade show, like the card game Movie Buff, being hawked by creator Justin Purvis and his giant blue hair. A trivia game with endless variations, Movie Buff might be a better fit for comics and game stores (where it’s already being sold in the Northeast), but Purvis is determined to get it into movie theaters as well. Celebrities and soft drinks at CinemaCon inspire shrugs, but there’s always a wide-eyed entrepreneur like Purvis determined to create the next big thing.