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: I believe it
By whiskerwill on 1/25/2010 6:18:04 PM , Rating: 1
Lol, does no one learn basic science any more? You don't even need to know history to realize that 25M is a wildly outrageous estimate for what population North America could support with the primitive agricultural methods in use. Even if you throw in the (much more highly populated at the time) regions of Central and South America, many estimates of pre-Columbian population don't rise that high...and the vast majority of that is in the Aztec/Mayan empires

At the time Columbus showed up in America, there were less than 4M people in all of England (a nation using advanced agricultural methods, rather than mostly primitive hunter-gather techniques) and still starvation was not uncommon. How on earth do you think 25M could survive in North America?

Also, you don't seem to recognize that, while Central and South America did experience largescale depopulation, the vast majority of that was due to disease, and not widescale killing by Europeans.

RE: I believe it
By ClownPuncher on 1/25/2010 6:39:05 PM , Rating: 3
I never said anything about Europeans depopulating the continent. Disease is undisputably the #1 cause.

Yes, I absolutely do think North American could support more than the estimated 4 million living in England. You do know that England is pretty small, and not very well known for fertile soil, right? Not to mention fairly advanced corn agriculture areas here.

25 million is probably a high estimate, but even the most conservative estimate fall over 10 million.

RE: I believe it
By whiskerwill on 1/25/2010 7:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong again. An estimate of 10-12M for North America is the HIGHEST claim that has ever been made. The LOWEST estimates for indigenous population have been in the 5-8M range for all the Americas, with nearly 90% of that in or south of modern-day Mexico. In other words, the lowest estimates of North American Native Indians are substantially below one million.

In any case, the estimates continue to climb over time, for obvious political reasons.

RE: I believe it
By BaronMatrix on 1/26/2010 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
At the time Columbus showed up in America Europe had just prior very nearly wiped itself out with Bubonic plague.

And as far as advanced agricultural methods, how do you know what they were using?

Besides, agricultural: Plant seed, add water, repeat. Unless you mean they had automated scythes and plows. No they had horses dragging them too.

Also, the Pilgrims almost died without the Indians in the northeast helping them make it through the winter. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

And to the TeePee comment, have you ever heard of a pueblo? Why do some people want to believe everyone needs them when that PARTICULAR person has invented NOTHING but a false sense of bravado.

RE: I believe it
By whiskerwill on 1/27/2010 2:35:25 AM , Rating: 1
Also, the Pilgrims almost died without the Indians in the northeast helping them make it through the winter. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
Lol, do you honestly not realize that's a myth? The Pilgrims thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation was for the large harvest they had, as a result of giving up their originali idea of wholly communal farming.

And as far as advanced agricultural methods, how do you know what they were using?
Um, from any of the tens of thousands of primary sources documenting their agricultural methods? Are you trying to embarrass yourself?

Besides, agricultural: Plant seed, add water, repeat. Unless you mean they had automated scythes and plows.
It just keeps getting better and better. Actually, I mean agricultural advances like crop rotation and fallowing, fertilization (sheep in the Middle Ages were primarily used to fertilize crops; their wool and meat were secondary factors), horse-drawn steel plows, and the beginnings of husbandry techniques leading to higher-yield strains. The European farmer of the late Middle Ages was productive enough to feed some 12-20 families in addition to his own, compared to the 3-4 the average Roman did (which is about the best the Mayans could do...North American hunter-gatherer Indians were even worse).

Honestly, learn a little before you try to debate these things.

And to the TeePee comment, have you ever heard of a pueblo?
I have. I also don't see many Native Americans today wanting to live in one either.

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