20th Century Fox slams NATO chief for calling '12 Years A Slave' too 'intense,' shows off 'X-Men' and 'Gone Girl' at CinemaCon

By Daniel S Levine,

20th Century Fox was not happy that National Association of Theater Owners chief John Fithian said that its Best Picture Oscar winning film 12 Years A Slave was “too unequivocally intense” to see in a theater. The studio made sure an audience of exhibitors knew that off the bat during its CinemaCon presentation today in Las Vegas.

Fithian’s comments, which were made earlier at the convention, surprised many in the audience, notes The Hollywood Reporter. It seemed odd that someone representing theater owners would tell people to avoid an acclaimed movie in theaters. Fithian said that he knew the film was important, but would prefer watching it at home.

Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson also thought it was uncalled for.

“We are excited to offer everything from intense epic adventures to equally thrilling comedies to intense dramas -- all of which are films that are meant to be seen in the best possible venue, your cinemas,” Aronson said. “That includes movies that win the Oscar for best picture, like 12 Years a Slave.”

Aronson got that comment out of the way at the beginning of the presentation, as time was needed for Fox to tease several upcoming projects. That includes X-Men: Days of Future Past, which opens in May. According to TheWrap, the studio showed the first 10 minutes, which included a battle between Sentinels and the X-Men.

“It's the biggest X-Men of them all,” Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman Jim Gianopulos told the crowd.

Fox also showed off sneak peeks of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Fault in Our Stars with Shailene Woodley and Secret Service with Colin Firth. Early footage from Ridley Scott’s Exodus and David Fincher’s Gone Girl were also screened.

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