LAS VEGAS Last week, the worldwide motion picture theater industry took over Caesars Palace for the inaugural CinemaCon, the official convention of the trade organization known as the National Association of Theatre Owners and the rebranded show that was formerly known as ShoWest. More than 6,000 industry pros from around the world gathered for the event, where the schedule included studio presentations and screenings, sponsored food events, seminars, and a theater-industry trade show floor. Among those related events was Sony's screening for the movie Zookeeper for 2,000 attendees in the Colosseum ballroom.
Overseen by Ann-Elizabeth Crotty from Sony Exhibitor Relations and 15/40 Productions's Craig Waldman, the comprised a zoo replica of the Franklin Park Zoo in New England, where the movie took place, in the lobby for guests to discover as they entered.
The team created an entrance in the casino as well as exhibit habitats for a lion and lioness, zebra, two Syrian grizzly bear cubs, an alligator, two snakes, and a monkey. The animals came from Jungle Exotics.
The stunt had all the makings of significant buzz generation, and an unplanned moment sealed the deal: Sony worldwide distribution president Rory Bruer carried a baby bear onto the stage, and the bear relieved itself on the executive's clothes. The incident prompted media attention—the best possible outcome for the event's purpose of marketing and publicizing the film, you might say—including a report from The Hollywood Reporter, which noted, “The bear incident elicited some of the biggest laughs of the exhibition convention and is sure to go down in CinemaCon history as an unforgettable moment.”