Oscar’s Sat.-night fever

Sony is lone studio with post-ceremony soiree

While the film biz is usually hog heaven for party animals, this Oscar night may belong to the party poopers.

Studios traditionally throw lavish fetes immediately after the Academy Awards ceremony, with Hollywoodites scrambling to find as many invites as possible.

This year, however, four studios with films nominated for best picture — Universal, DreamWorks, USA Films and Miramax — will forgo post-ceremony fetes and celebrate instead on March 24, the night before the kudocast. The move follows a subdued ShoWest, during which only Warner Bros. threw the kind of product-pushing bash multiple studios historically have.

The official party line makes it sound like Oscar night — at least at the studio level — could be reduced to champagne and crackers in limos on the way home. Maybe. However, the town could see a raft of “spontaneous,” secret parties — whipping up a frenzy of paranoia among hardcore partygoers desperate not to miss the best bashes. Sony is scheduled to be the lone studio partying on Sunday. The Oscar-night slate includes customary gatherings such as the Governors Ball and soirees staged by Vanity Fair and Elton John. Also on tap are entries from Los Angeles and Brntwd magazines and Night of the 100 Stars.

Organizers cite a number of reasons for the shift: Oscar-night parties often seem truncated since many guests arrive late after a long awards show and a stop at the Governors Ball. Vanity Fair’s party is also such a draw that winners often want to leave their own studio’s party to get to Morton’s.

Then there’s always money: Some of these post-kudos bashes can easily cost $750,000 (especially if a tent is involved), so it’s less expensive to have a smaller, pre-Oscars event.

Plus, as one exec says, “The night before the awards, the nominees are all still winners.”

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