Flaming Cars Light Up Hancock Premiere

Smoking car wrecks and a surprise Will Smith performance amped up Hancock's red carpet and after-party.

By Rosalba Curiel July 1, 2008, 6:55 PM EDT

The red carpet at the Hancock premiere

Photo: Line 8 Photography

Hancock Premiere
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Guests at last night’s Hancock premiere didn’t have to wait for the film’s screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to witness the path of collateral damage its title character, an oft-drunk and reluctant superhero, leaves in the wake of begrudgingly saving the day. Instead, they got a sneak-peek on the arrivals carpet, where twelve Hancock logo-branded cars, arranged to look like a series of wrecks and pile-ups, served as a playful extension of a traditional step and repeat. Columbia’s Alison Bossert tapped 15/40's Craig Waldman to produce the car carnage, which was broadcast to Hollywood pedestrians on giant Jumbotrons, and—in a tie-in for the Sony-owned Columbia—on Sony Bravia televisions.

The damage-heavy theme continued at the premiere’s after-party across the street in three parking lots located behind the El Capitan. Small flames shot out of cars that sat in the center of two bars, where servers wore beanies identical to the one worn by Hancock in the film. Other references to the movie included caged lounges—a nod to Hancock’s brief stint in prison during the film—and a strung-up 30-foot inflatable whale similar to the one the superhero saves by hurling it into the ocean.

In a move that jointly promoted the film and Sony products, Waldman included a lounge featuring the company’s latest computers and televisions, all programmed to run scenes from the film, or pre-loaded to the Hancock Web site, where they could experiment with interactive games.

For those not interested in high-tech gadgetry, other entertainment options included a tattoo station that branded guests with a “Hancock was here” temporary tattoo, and a photo opportunity, where guests could channel their inner superhero by posing to look as if they were holding a car over their heads.

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