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Fox’s ‘Four’ premiere less than fantastic

Fox brass is surely hoping that the “Fantastic Four” preem on Liberty Island on Wednesday night was no harbinger of future success. The first premiere held out by Lady Liberty went from bad to worse with weather and technical difficulties wreaking havoc on the schedule before the screening was cancelled altogether. Guests were scheduled to arrive on the island by 7 p.m. and film’s cast by was to arrive at 7:30, with screening to begin at 9. Shortly after 6:30, just as a ferry dropped off at least 150 members of the New York press, a torrential downpour put plans on hold, stranding guests on the mainland and the press and publicists under a wooden, sideless roof on the island.Fox toppers and cast, including Tom Rothman, Hutch Parker and Ioan Gruffudd, holed up in the Ritz Carlton hospitality suite and debated moving preem to Regal Cinemas Battery Park, before electing to go ahead with Liberty Island, where a barbecue, outdoor stage and fireworks show were already set up. Cast didn’t show until almost 9, and by then workers had successfully toweled down all the seats and repainted the splotchy screen, which had sent a torrent of white paint into the gutter during the storm. Rangers, ferry workers and SWAT team members, all working overtime, looked on as the reasonably good-natured guests waited for another hour while film’s actors and producers ran through the press line. The screening finally got under way around 10:20, after a fireworks show, only to have the projector break down 10 minutes later. The antsy crowd rushed to fill the two boats heading back to shore. The film’s actors, such as Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis, had to hitch a ride back on the same ferry, though they were cordoned off from the hoi polloi on the ship’s prow.

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