Movie stars might bring people into the theaters, but nobody can bring out the stars like theater owners. They have the ultimate power: deciding what movie to run and how long to run it. This year’s National Association of Theater Owners convention (known as “Showest”) lured a cavalcade of stars to its annual outing in Las Vegas, including Kevin Costner, Warren Beatty, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore — no dummies when it comes to the business of box office.
Costner hawked “Wyatt Earp,” Gibson and Foster their western, “Maverick,” and Tom Hanks his upcoming “Forrest Gump,” although he admitted, “I really want to be on the convention floor to see the new innovations in nacho cheese-flavored toppings.”
The biggest brouhaha was made by brand new Paramount owner Sumner Redstone. After Paramount prez Sherry Lansing, now rumored to be on shaky ground, made a speech pronouncing, “Now the turmoil is behind us,” Redstone followed her to the mike by saying, “Thank you, Sherry, but the turmoil has just begun.”