Farrelly Brothers Mourn New Line Downsizing at 'Hall Pass' Premiere

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Hosting a flashy premiere party when your company is about to go through downsizing can make for some tense and awkward cocktail time, with revelers dodging the issue like an exec avoiding a struggling writer.

But at Wednesday night's world premiere of New Line's raunchy comedy Hall Pass, the Farrelly Bros. faced head-on the elephant in the room in front of hundreds of people.

"There's been a lot in the press the last couple days about New Line, and them cutting back,” Peter Farrelly said before the film started. "And people are afraid it's diminishing what was, what is, a great studio. It wouldn't be right if I didn't tell you I consider this the best working experience we've ever had. And we've had great ones."

As THR reported on Tuesday, New Line parent Warner Bros. has ordered its output slashed from six movies a year to four, and staff layoffs are planned.

The Farrellys, the former kings of comedy looking for a comeback with the Owen Wilson-starring movie, said it was the first time they've made a speech before a premiere of one of their movies since 1994's Dumb & Dumber. But they felt a public thank-you kiss was necessary.

They singled out New Line president Toby Emmerich for being a champion of their movie and production president Richard Brener for his studious attention to detail.

"For the first script, he gave us 50 notes; we ended up using 40 of them," said Peter Farrelly.

"We probably should have used the other 10," quipped Bobby.

Then, before the movie started, Bobby shouting "God bless New Line and the gang!" to claps and whistles.

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