Film's preem draws record crowd for Chinese
If auds turn out in theaters the way fans did for Tuesday’s preem, “Ocean’s Thirteen” is assured blockbuster success.
Almost the entire section of Hollywood Boulevard from Orange to Highland was lined with fans. Closer to the Chinese Theater, sidewalks were filled at least six deep and impassable.
Security maven Ralph Pipes said it was “the biggest crowd we’ve ever had.” And in jaundiced Hollywood understatement, one industryite described the milieu as “a little much, but whatever.”
The scene was like a scaled-down Academy Awards in which the primary fan focus was on two stars: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Pic’s other actors — George Clooney, Matt Damon et al. — got cheers, but the Pitt-Jolie combo drew most of the screams.
In a clever move, Pitt and Jolie spent most of their arrival time signing autographs up and down the boulevard, then scooted past the camera and TV crews. The message was love the fans; love the media less.
Besides the fans, the preem got a big guest turnout that included Sumner Redstone, Quincy Jones, Chris Albrecht, Bruce Berman, Shakira, Graham King, Norman Lear, Cindy Crawford, Bernie Brillstein and Leonard Goldberg, who said, “Watching this movie is like watching a cash register ring.”
After-party was produced by Along Came Mary in a nearby parking lot. The 1,200-guest affair was done in a Las Vegas poolside theme with cabanas; Chinese acrobats; a nine-piece live band; a three-story water wall centerpiece; and a five-minute fireworks display that might have been a boulevard premiere first.
“This is what Hollywood is about,” said producer Jerry Weintraub. “This is what the movie business is about.”