Bash invoked deliberate circus atmosphere

NEW YORK — Sony turned the Hammerstein Ballroom into a circus scene for the “Big Fish” party following the pic’s bow Thursday night in Gotham.

Trapeze artists, fire-eaters and tarot card readers were on hand for the country-fried bash.

Helmer Tim Burton seemed to be enjoying himself despite his general dislike of such festivities. “I hate parties,” he said. “I’m never invited to them.”

Based on a book by Daniel Wallace, pic blends the fantastical with the contemporary. True to its Southern roots, pic was shot in Montgomery, Ala.

“There were definitely some unmagical parts, but we highlighted the magical,” said producer Bruce Cohen.

On hand: pic’s Billy Crudup, Alison Lohman, Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi and Robert Guillaume, producers Richard D. Zanuck and Dan Jinks; and Sony execs Amy Pascal, Jeff Blake and Geoffrey Ammer.

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