Times a wallflower amid party scene

Grey Lady story timing awkward

The timing, at the very least, was awkward: Monday’s New York Times story about scaled-back preems landed during a particularly hearty party stretch here and abroad.

On Saturday, Disney pulled out all the stops for its latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” bow at Disneyland, and on Monday, the day the story ran, Universal ushered in “Knocked Up” with an impish outdoor Westwood bash, complete with a DJ and home-pregnancy-test party favors. Tuesday night, MGM queued up a post-bow bash for “Mr. Brooks” at the Annex in the Hollywood & Highland complex following its Chinese Theater unspooling.

Overseas, revelers are party-hopping as usual at Cannes soirees and yacht parties. Among the fest fetes: Warner’s Tuesday night world preem of “Ocean’s Thirteen,” a benefit for Darfur.

Sony kicked off the current party season with nine preems for “Spider-Man 3,” the first and biggest in Tokyo on April 16, and has its own outdoor Westwood bash slated to follow the June 2 afternoon bow of “Surf’s Up.” And U is planning another big bash for “Evan Almighty” when it bows next month.

Party passions can run hot and cold at various studios — Paramount’s been a bit of a party pooper lately, as the Grey Lady duly noted — and with the ebb and flow comes inevitable stories about the decline of soirees in Hollywood. The smaller movies may indeed be getting squeezed, as the story qualifies midway, but the party scene is far from anemic, as many a bleary-eyed reveler can attest this week.

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