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‘Bandits’ steals light

Preem goes all out with packed press line, Spago after-party

While most recent premieres have either been low-key affairs or canceled outright, MGM brought the business of launching movies back up to speed Thursday by giving “Bandits” a major preem.

Though there was a bright yellow security barricade blocking the street outside the Village theater, otherwise “Bandits” got the classic Hollywood preem treatment beginning with a packed press line and ending with a spare-no-expense Spago after-party that included tenting the adjacent street.

MGM chief operations officer Chris McGurk said the studio went all out with the film because “when you have a quality director, quality screenplay, quality actors, you don’t sit and cut corners. You invest behind the quality elements.”

Helmer Barry Levinson his film “takes a lot of genres and tweaks them and plays around with them. It’s a romantic comedy slash behavioral comedy slash road pic slash relationship comedy — there’s a lot of slashes, but there’s an overall spirit that holds it together.”

Among those attending were MGM’s Michael Nathanson, Bob Levin and Erik Lomis; producers Ashok Amritraj, David Hoberman, Michael Birnbaum and Arnold Rifkin; stars Bruce Willis (with his children and ex-wife Demi Moore) and Billy Bob Thornton with Angelina Jolie; plus guests Michael Ovitz, Wesley Snipes, Michael Bay, Halle Berry, Sandy Climan, Bob Cooper, Julie Delpy, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Krevoy, Frank Mancuso and Matthew Perry.

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