Print 118 comment(s) - last by Aloonatic.. on Jan 27 at 5:09 AM

  (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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RE: pointless comparison
By stirfry213 on 1/25/2010 12:03:44 PM , Rating: 3
Think its dumb all you want. But don't be ignorant to the fact that you are in the minority with your opinion.

RE: pointless comparison
By The0ne on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: pointless comparison
By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 12:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
My first dog and donkey show was over 25 years ago in Tijuana. Get over the hype

Fixed for accuracy

RE: pointless comparison
By The0ne on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: pointless comparison
By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 2:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
I was just having fun with ya. My first trip to IMAX was about 25 years ago too

RE: pointless comparison
By The0ne on 1/25/2010 2:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Now you got me curious. Where was your first IMAX experience? I've traveled cross-country for about a year and saw many in the midwest, some even in remote places that doesn't seem to house any living thing :) but there are signs saying IMAX this way hahaha Alabama, parts of IOWA I think.

I think I was about 12 years old or younger when the teacher took us to the museums in TJ and IMAX. Shortly after that I had my 2nd experience with Disney's Captain Neo and that was pretty good :)

Anyhow, good times.

RE: pointless comparison
By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 2:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

RE: pointless comparison
By thefrozentin on 1/25/2010 3:19:30 PM , Rating: 1
Man i hope i dont end up grumphy, sarcastic and pointless like you when i grow up!!

RE: pointless comparison
By Dorkyman on 1/25/2010 4:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
Touting sales volume is completely irrelevant in an inflation environment unless you adjust for it. According to BoxOfficeMojo, Avatar is a modest #26 on all-time domestic list, just above "Thunderball" but below "Grease." I expect the ranking to climb, though, as sales continue. As mentioned elsewhere, #1 is "Gone With the Wind," #2 is "Star Wars," #3 is "Sound of Music."

Kinda puts it in perspective, doesn't it?

RE: pointless comparison
By Oregonian2 on 1/25/2010 5:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
You have a point, but one also has to keep in mind that "inflation" is an averaged statistical thing that gets applied as if it were a homogeneous thing in it's universal "flat" application. There also are some anomalies in terms of the details about how it's calculated that makes one wonder a little about application. I'm not saying it's not very useful, but it just can't be taken TOO seriously as an exact number one can confidently use.

RE: pointless comparison
By trisct on 1/25/2010 1:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen both versions (2D and 3D IMAX), but other than the huge screen, I didn't think the 3D IMAX version added much to the movie. A very few scenes made use of the 3D effects in a cute way, but equally many scenes were disrupted by the 3D, which just ended up being distracting, and didn't fit in the action scenes at all.

RE: pointless comparison
By DM0407 on 1/25/2010 1:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have yet to see this movie, because its just a movie. This is partially a boycott but mostly that I could give a sh!t about any movie this hyped.

If I wanted to spend $20 on some action only to go home disappointed I'd go to the strip club. I'll wait til it comes out on .torrent, I mean DVD.

RE: pointless comparison
By Sazar on 1/25/2010 4:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
You must have an awesome high-definition 3-D setup at your home to get the gist of what many people talk about when referring to this movie.

As a comparison, Beowulf was a below average movie in 2-D. In 3-D, it was actually compelling and become and average to slightly above average movie.

Avatar, pertaining to the movie, story and acting is average at best. Watch Battle for Terra and you'll get 90% of the same stuff. But, watching the movie for the experience with high-def and in 3-D is something else. It transforms the movie and gives it depth that you don't see from anything else.

It's not just about having things pop out at you. It is about rendering things almost as they are happening in front of you and THAT is where the technology used wowed me.

RE: pointless comparison
By Oregonian2 on 1/25/2010 5:53:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just about having things pop out at you. It is about rendering things almost as they are happening in front of you and THAT is where the technology used wowed me.

Exactly. I mark down 3D that pops things at you or drops things into your lap. Idea is to be more realistic -- seeing 3d like one does in real life.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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