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No ‘Avengers’ Preview for Critics

August 11, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ ``The Avengers,″ one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, may be headed for trouble at the box office, with the studio declining to show it to critics before its release Friday.

Traditionally, studios that have little faith in a movie refuse to screen it early for reviewers, preferring to take their chances with the public.

The remake of the stylish ’60s TV show stars Ralph Fiennes as the dapper John Steed and Uma Thurman as the leather-jumpsuited Emma Peel. Sean Connery plays the villain.

Warner Bros. didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday, but senior vice president Don Buckley told the New York Post that the studio ``decided that we want the press and the audiences to discover the movie together.″

``We’re very proud of the movie,″ he said.

The Los Angeles Times quoted an unidentified studio spokesman as saying the filmmakers were tinkering last week with the special effects. The source said there would be no gala premiere because its three stars had scheduling conflicts and were unavailable.

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