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Col hails its ‘Hero’s’ welcome

The general public got its first peek at Columbia Pictures’ behemoth summer release “Last Action Hero” Saturday night, and while the studio is determined to do a little fine-tuning prior to its June 18 release, Col described the reaction as enthusiastic.

The screening — conducted by Joe Farrell’s National Research Group for a test audience of 1,200 — was held at Pacific Theatres’ Lakewood Center multiplex north of Long Beach.

It was the first time the general public has been given a peek at the big-budget Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer, which was presented as an unnamed action film. Columbia Pictures brass had screened the movie, directed by John McTiernan, Thursday.

Columbia Pictures executive veepee Sid Ganis said the reaction from Saturday’s test audience “was absolutely sensational.” In a statement, Ganis added, “We now know that ‘Last Action Hero’ is not only on target for opening day, but also that it’s headed right toward bull’s-eye.”

Numerous optical and other special effects are needed before the movie is ready for paying audiences.

An early post-production plan for “Last Action Hero” called for more than 100 individual special effects, including a golden glowing movie ticket (Daily Variety, March 8). The post-production schedule is among the shortest for a movie of its size, according to studio chairman Mark Canton.

Columbia has seven days to lock the print.

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