24 minutes of James Cameron's Avatar were screened at the Cinema Expo in Amsterdam on June 23rd and although all audience members were required to sign non-disclosure agreements anonymous reports have been posted on various websites. Uniformly, they are positive to the point of near-delirium. Like the headline at the FilmDrunk site which modestly proclaims it to be "THE MOST IMPORTANT MOVIE OF ALL TIME."
See The Hollywood Reporter's coverage, here.
The film's budget is reported to be in excess of $200 million dollars — which 20th Century Fox obviously believes is a safe bet, given that Cameron's last feature film back in 1997 went on to earn $1.83 billion-with-a-B dollars world wide. (You know the one I mean, it had a boat in it, and ice—geez, it's on the tip of my tongue—and it was a really big boat). And that was without a Happy Meal tie-in, plastic action figures or even T-shirt sales.
Of course, these days Hollywood takes second place behind the computer gaming industry in the market for our entertainment dollars. But films reach a much broader audience — all video gamers watch movies but not all moviegoers are gamers. Still, this is a science fiction film set on a distant planet and when has a movie like that ever made any money?
Correction: My editor informs me that the 8 theatrically-released Star Wars movies (including Star Wars:Attack of the Clones (IMAX) and the animated Star Wars:The Clone Wars) have a combined world box office gross of $4,411,410,761. $4 billion-with-a-B.
OK, fine, but name another one!
For NYSS members and supporters the big news, obviously, is that Avatar was filmed and designed to be seen in 3D (as well as IMAX 3D). It will also screen in a 2D version. The current US release date is December 18, 2009 though I imagine a lot of you will be booking tickets to Belgium or Egypt to see it on December 16.
First one to see it and send a review to this site wins the fabulous. . . esteem and praise of the NYC 3D community. Remember, if you see it on the 16th you could get either crude oil or waffles.
Fanboy Trivia: According to IMDB.com Farrah Fawcett, Glenn Close, Barbara Hershey, Bernadette Peters, Bonnie Bedelia, Dianne Wiest, Margot Kidder, Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Cybill Shepherd, Christine Lahti, Jane Seymour, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Hicks, Christine Baranski, Kay Lenz, Kim Basinger, Kathleen Turner, Debra Winger, and Geena Davis all auditioned for the role of Princess Leia.
While James Caan, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro and Burt Reynolds turned down the role of Han Solo.