Guests tune in to soundtrack gala

LONDON — In line with the worldwide no-preview policy on “The Avengers,” Warner Bros. skipped the usual preem and opted for a soundtrack party at London’s Leopard Lounge on Monday. Despite the absence of the film’s leads — Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery — bowlers and leather were rife. Some 600 guests and mostly local celebs heeded the “Be Steed or Peel” dresscode, with guests such as Grace Jones showing up well into the bash. Exec producer Jerry Weintraub jetted in an out within an hour, deftly avoiding trade press.

No splash

But after months of pre-release hype on the made-in-the-U.K. film, partygoers and local wags had been waiting for something splashier to launch the feature version of the revered ’60s secret-agent series. And with Brit crix left to see the film along with regular moviegoers on opening day Friday, predictions about the film’s merits read like one of its tag lines: “The forecast is deadly.”

Warner Bros. says it wants to let the public decide.

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