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  (Source: 20th Century Fox)
Nothing can seem to stop worldwide audiences' love of Cameron's sci-fi epic

While some may criticize it as unoriginal for parallels to past movies and literature, James Cameron's latest masterpiece, Avatar is a smash hit among critics and moviegoers alike. 

Fueled by strong sales of more expensive 3D movie tickets and fueled by a viral marketing campaign online and off, Avatar proved a triumph in a hit or miss market that's seen even veterans like Harrison Ford recently deliver painful flops.  If Avatar has one problem it's that it's having a hard time keeping up with international demand, as the film quickly raked in over $1B USD within only three weeks of its December 10, 2009 release.

From a tech and science standpoint Avatar is landmark success for 3D animation, marking the first time audiences have embraced (for the most part) emotive human-like 3D characters alongside living ones in a drama flick.  The animation pushes the boundaries of current work, as does the xenobiology featured in the film (Avatar hired a team of experienced biologists to help develop the flora and fauna of the fictional world of Na'vi).

Now Avatar is about to make history as it is expected today to become the highest grossing film ever, sinking the Titanic's record total of $1.843B USD.  What is particularly impressive is how quickly Avatar pulled in the total, reaching $1.841B USD over the weekend, after only six weeks in theaters, and less than that in some foreign markets. 

In many countries, Avatar has become the top grossing U.S. film in their history, and even among their total top grossing films -- a remarkable achievement in countries with strong film industries like France.  Internationally the film has earned $1.288B USD, despite getting a bumped from China's standard theaters for a new Chow Yun Fat epic about the Chinese philosopher Confucius (Avatar continues to play in around 900 of China's 3D theaters).

Even as Avatar rolls towards the epic mark of becoming the first movie to break $2B USD, Cameron has announced that two sequels are in the works.  Considering Fox may have spent more than $300M USD on the film, that's great news for the 3D animation industry.

With its success, Avatar has drawn some backlash.  The U.S. Marine Corps disliked the unflattering depiction of the mercenary marine army whose leadership was corrupted by greed and bloodlust.  Others loved Avatar so much that they reported depression and suicidal thoughts out of regret they could not live in the movie's fantasy world.  And still others have complained of the film being too similar to past work, varying from Pocahontas (first popularized to the masses by the 19th century burlesque The Gentle Savage) to Braveheart.

Critics, for the most part, have been deaf to such criticism.  They rewarded Avatar with awards for Best Motion Picture and Best Director and the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.

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I think it is a must see for the 3D
By Esquire on 1/25/2010 11:33:54 AM , Rating: 0
I've gotten 30+ people to see it just for the 3D effects alone. It is a must see 3D movie.

My Avatar Wars video


By Souka on 1/25/2010 11:57:03 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder what the number of unique people seeing this is?

I ask because I know a number of people who saw various combinations of the 2d, 3D, 2d-IMAX, and 3D-IMAX...

Would Avatar been so sucessful if it had been 2D or 3D only?

Crazy man.

RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By DtTall on 1/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By rcc on 1/25/2010 12:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
But really, are there any original story lines left? Everything appears to be a rehash of an old story/movie. Often times old enough that the younger generations don't recognize it, but still.....

RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By callmeroy on 1/25/2010 2:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Good point and one of my "favorite points" to make whenever someone says "same old storyline".....

All the storylines have been done, there is nothing original left.

Any movie you look at -- its story or type of story has been told in a thousand other movies.

All movies are is a different version of storyline (with different actors and sets).

RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2010 5:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree, you are being an apologist and using cop outs.

For example I saw Daybreakers this weekend. Very few things are as beat to death as the Vampire genre, but I was actually impressed at how original the movie was. They took something beaten to death and made it feel new and refreshing and very original. With great writing, acting, and very few if any plot holes.

Would you say Serenity is the "same old stuff" as well ?

Saying "nothing original is left" is just sad. Do you believe man has reached the end of it's imagination ? That just isn't possible.

There is a big difference between being unoriginal and something being recycled. Avatar is recycled content, in the truest sense of the word.

Movie making is still an art to some people. Just because Cameron has sold out and has strictly gone for maximum profits doesn't mean everything that can ever be done has already been done.

RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By banthracis on 1/25/2010 5:57:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well technically Serenity is a complete ripoff of Cowboy Bebop, which in turn was heavily influenced by Trigun, which is turn was based off of Battle Angel Alita...

so yea, I'd say most things have been done.

Any hero story adheres to, or is a variation of the Monomyth.

Major processes of the monomyth include:

The Call to Adventure- Jack Goes to pandora
Refusal of the Call- Initially didn't want to go.
Supernatural Aid- Saved from being killed by the female navi because of the seeds landing landing on her bow.
The Road of Trials- The training portion
The Meeting With the Goddess- The connection to the tree of ancestors scene
Atonement with the Father- In him case, admittance and atonement for betraying the tribe.
The Magic Flight- obvious
Master of Two Worlds- obvious
Freedom to Live- Final scene

You could fill events that fit these categories in any hero story. From beowolf to Avatar.

In the context of the monomyth, everything that can be done will still be just a variation, and not truely original.


RE: I think it is a must see for the 3D
By Reclaimer77 on 1/25/2010 6:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well technically Serenity is a complete ripoff of Cowboy Bebop

That is so absurd. Right I'm so sure Josh Weadon has to look to amine for plot points. Are you insane ?

By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 6:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't bash Cowboy Bebop :) Being a fan of both Firefly (Serenity was a bit meh for me) and Cowboy Bebop, there are obviously some parallels, but there is no "complete ripoff" going on.

I fully agree, Avatar was completely derivative. I also agree that there are still film makers out there making original films. This BS that every story has already been done is garbage.

By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 6:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
You need to read more.

By Belard on 1/26/2010 12:01:07 AM , Rating: 2
And how many Star Trek eps are actually original?

Oh, there is a Live-Action version of Space Cruiser Yamato (Star Blazers) coming from Japan. It looks pretty good.

Or how about the thousands of Kung-fu / Triad movies that have come out in the past 50 years? Or the countless of Anime that is magical girls or cute school girls that beat up boys? We have Bakugun(whatever) that is replacing Pokemon...

Avatar is a movie that is well put together and entertaining - doesn't matter if its a re-told story. How many people (younger) watch movies made 20, 40, 50 years ago? Black and white... ew!!! Personally, I don't mind watching a good movie, even if its not in color.

By Hiawa23 on 1/25/2010 12:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the movie was great, but honestly, it really doesn't matter to me how much it or any movie makes. Some of my alltime favorite movies have been by J C, so I am glad for him.

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