Century Fox Science
is a 2009 science fiction film written and directed
by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoë
Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang.
The film was produced by Lightstorm Entertainment
and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It premiered
in London on December 10, 2009, and was released in
the United Kingdom on December 17, 2009, one day prior
to its theatrical release in the United States.
film begins in the year 2154 and focuses on an epic
conflict on Pandora, an inhabited Earth-sized moon
of Polyphemus, one of the three fictional gas giants
orbiting Alpha Centauri A (the names Pandora and Polyphemus
are taken from two Greek mythological figures). On
Pandora, human colonists and the sapient humanoid
indigenous inhabitants of Pandora, the Na'vi, engage
in a war over the planet and the latter's continued
existence. The film's title refers to the remotely
controlled, genetically engineered human-Na'vi bodies
used by the film's human characters to interact with
had been in development since 1994 by Cameron, who
wrote a 114-page scriptment for the film. Filming
was supposed to take place after the completion of
Titanic, and the film would have been released in
1999, but according to Cameron, "technology needed
to catch up" with his vision of the film. In
early 2006, Cameron developed the script, the language,
and the culture of Pandora. He has stated that if
Avatar is successful, two sequels to the film are
film was released in traditional 2D and 3D formats,
along with an IMAX 3D release in selected theaters.
Avatar is officially budgeted at $237 million;
other estimates put the cost at $280 $310 million
to produce and an estimated $150 million for marketing.
The film is being touted as a breakthrough in terms
of filmmaking technology, for its development of 3D
viewing and stereoscopic filmmaking with cameras that
were specially designed for the film's production.
Opening to critical acclaim, it grossed an estimated
$27 million on its opening day and an estimated $77,025,481
domestically its opening weekend. Worldwide, the film
grossed an estimated $232,180,000 its opening weekend,
the ninth largest opening-weekend gross of all time,
and the largest for a non-franchise, non-sequel and
original film. It is also considered to be a front-runner
for awards and nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards.
the year 2154, a human corporation is engaged in a
mining operation on Pandora, a lush, Earthlike moon
of Polyphemus, a gas giant orbiting the star Alpha
Centauri A. The six-year trip from Earth goes
by quickly thanks to the use of cryonic technology
to keep travelers in stasis. The humans seek to exploit
Pandora's reserves of unobtanium, a precious mineral.
Administrator Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) employs
former marines and soldiers as a mercenary security
detail for the operation. Pandora is inhabited by
an indigenous paleolithic species of sapient humanoids
called the Na'vi. Standing 9 feet (2.7 m) tall, with
tails, bones reinforced with naturally occurring carbon
fiber, and bioluminescent blue skin, the Na'vi live
in harmony with the natural world, worshiping a mother
goddess called Eywa, and are considered primitive
by human standards. They are unwelcoming towards the
humanswho they refer to as "sky people"that
are destroying their habitat with their mining operations.
atmosphere is such that humans do not need a pressure
suit, but they do need an oxygen mask. Peaceful relations
with the Na'vi are hard to come by. Researchers led
by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) create the
Avatar Program, creating human-Na'vi hybrid bodies
which are similar to Na'vi bodies and can breathe
without mask, and are used to interact with the Na'vi.
A human who shares genetic material with an avatar
can link to it, allowing them to control it while
their own body 'sleeps'. Each avatar body constitutes
a substantial investment for the corporation. Jake
Sully (Sam Worthington) is a former Marine who was
paralyzed below the waist in combat on Earth. His
twin brother was a scientist working in the Avatar
Program. When Jake's brother is killed, the corporation
hires Jake to take his place because he is compatible
with his brother's avatar. Augustine is not happy
about Jake being there; unlike his brother he is not
a trained scientific researcher, has no knowledge
of Na'vi culture and has never used an avatar. Despite
their misgivings, the research team lets him into
the program, having him act as security detail rather
than a scientist.
Jake is escorting Augustine and an Avatar Program
biologist named Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore) through
the jungle, the group is attacked by a thanator, a
large predator, and Jake becomes separated from the
others, forcing them to leave him behind for the night.
Jake attempts to survive in his avatar body, fending
off Pandora's dangerous creatures. When he is attacked
by a pack of wolflike nantang, a female Na'vi named
Neytiri (Zoë Saldaña), who had been observing
Jake since he arrived in the forest, saves his life.
Though troubled by Jake's childlike recklessness,
when a multitude of sacred floating seeds are attracted
to him, she takes it to be a spiritual sign from Eywa.
She escorts him to the Na'vi Hometree, the spiritual
and geographical home of her clan, the Omaticaya.
The Na'vi leadership orders Neytiri to teach Jake
Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) commands Jake to obtain
the trust of the Na'vi clan and gives him three months
to convince them to abandon the Hometree, which sits
above a large deposit of unobtanium; the precious
rock which is highly valued on planet Earth. As Jake
learns Na'vi ways, he finds himself caught between
the military-industrial forces of Earth and a newfound
love for the Na'vi culture. As part of his initiation
into the tribe, Jake tames a flying creature known
as a Banshee. While flying with Neytiri, they are
attacked by a "Toruk", a formidable and
revered winged creature. Neytiri explains that only
five Na'vi have tamed the Toruk, and that those who
bond with it can unite the Na'vi clans.
is initiated into the tribe. At the Tree of Voices,
Neytiri and Jake choose each other as mates arousing
the jealousy of Tsu'Tey (Laz Alonso), Eytucan's appointed
heir. Jake keeps silent on the humans' plans to use
force if the Na'vi will not leave peacefully, but
when the deadline runs out, a bulldozing machine almost
kills Jake and Neytiri and destroys the Tree of Voices.
Jake asks for more time to convince the Na'vi to leave,
but Quaritch reveals a vlog where Jake says the Na'vi
will never leave, and Selfridge orders an assault
pleads for another chance to convince them to leave
and is given one hour. When he reveals his mission
to the Na'vi, they feel betrayed and leave him and
Augustine strung up to die when the hour runs out.
The human forces destroy the Hometree, killing Eytucan
(Wes Studi), the tribe's chief and Neytiri's father.
Jake and his compatriots are detained. Trudy Chacon
(Michelle Rodriguez), a pilot who is disgusted by
the violence, breaks the prisoners out, but Augustine
is wounded by Quaritch during the escape. Deciding
there is only one way the Na'vi will listen to him,
Jake tames the Toruk, earning the Na'vi's respect.
He pleads with Mo'at (C. C. H. Pounder), the spiritual
leader of the Na'vi, to heal Augustine. They attempt
to transplant her soul into her avatar, but Augustine
dies from her injuries and her soul is sent to Eywa.
the assistance of Neytiri and Tsu'Tey, Jake vows defiance
against the humans and assembles thousands of Na'vi
from other tribes to battle the human forces. Colonel
Quaritch, seeing that the Na'vi are growing in numbers,
orders a preemptive attack to destroy the Tree of
Souls, the center of Na'vi religion and culture. If
the humans destroy it the Na'vi will be too demoralized
to resist their conquest of Pandora. Jake prays to
Eywa to intercede on behalf of the Na'vi in the forthcoming
battle. The Na'vi put up a formidable defense for
their territory, sustaining heavy casualties that
include Tsu'Tey, Trudy, and Norm's avatar. When all
hope seems lost, the Pandoran wildlife launch a mass
attack, overwhelming the humans. Neytiri interprets
this as Eywa answering Jake's prayer.
Quaritch orders the bombing of the Tree of Souls,
but Jake destroys the shuttle first. Quaritch escapes
in his AMP (Amplified Mobility Platform) suit, locating
the Avatar interface field pod and attacking it in
order to kill the human Jake. Neytiri and Jake's avatar
arrive to defeat him, but the pod is damaged, exposing
Jake's vulnerable body to Pandora's atmosphere. Neytiri
kills Quaritch and saves Jake, seeing his human form
for the first time. They tenderly reaffirm their love.The
humans are expelled from Pandora, permanently ending
their mining operation, but Jake and his friends are
allowed to remain with the natives. During a ritual
led by Mo'at at the Tree of Souls, Jake's soul is
transferred from his human body into his Na'vi avatar.
Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, a disabled Marine who
becomes part of the "Avatar" program. Cameron
cast the Australian actor after searching the world
for promising young actors, preferring relative unknowns
to keep the budget down. Worthington auditioned twice
early in development, and he has signed on for possible
sequels. Cameron felt that because Worthington had
not done a major film, he was "game for anything",
giving the character "a quality that is really
real. He has that quality of being a guy you'd want
to have a beer with, and he ultimately becomes a leader
who transforms the world".
Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine, a botanist who mentors
Jake Sully and who teaches the Na'vi English. Weaver
dyed her hair red for the part. Her character was
named "Shipley" at one point. The character
reminded Weaver of Cameron, being "very driven
and very idealistic".
Michelle Rodriguez as Trudy Chacon, a Marine fighter
pilot. Cameron had wanted to work with Rodriguez since
seeing her in Girlfight.
Ribisi as SecFor administrator Parker Selfridge, one
of the film's primary antagonists. He is the reason
the humans are in Pandora: to retrieve a valuable
mineral worth 20 million per kilo. He is known to
be a passive-aggressive character.
David Moore as Norm Spellman, a biologist who studies
plant and nature life (like Weaver's character). He
also uses an avatar.
Lang as SecFor's Colonel Miles Quaritch, one of the
main antagonists. Lang had unsuccessfully auditioned
for a role in Cameron's Aliens (1986); the director
remembered Lang and cast him in Avatar.
Michael Biehn, who was in Aliens, read the script
and watched some of the 3D footage with Cameron, but
was ultimately not cast in the role.
Rao as Dr. Max Patel, a scientist who works in the
Matt Gerald as SecFor Corporal Lyle Wainfleet.
Zoë Saldaña as Neytiri, the princess of
the Na'vi tribe central to the story, who is attracted
to Jake because of his bravery. The character, like
all the Na'vi, was created using performance capture,
and is entirely computer generated. Saldaña
has also signed on for potential sequels.
C. H. Pounder as Mo'at, the Na'vi spiritual leader,
Neytiri's mother, and consort to clan leader Eytucan.
Alonso as Tsu'Tey, heir to the chieftainship of the
tribe, and Neytiri's betrothed, although she chooses
Jake over him, much to the jealousy of Tsu'Tey.
Studi as Eytucan, the Na'vi leader of the Omaticaya
clan, the husband of Mo'at and Neytiri's father.
Peter Mensah as Akwey, a member of the Na'vi tribe.
In 1994, director James Cameron wrote a 114-page scriptment
for Avatar. Cameron said his inspiration was "every
single science fiction book I read as a kid",
and that he was particularly striving to update the
style of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter series.
In August 1996, Cameron announced that after completing
Titanic, he would film Avatar, which would make use
of "synthetic", or computer-generated, actors.
The project would cost $100 million and involve at
least six actors in leading roles "who appear
to be real but do not exist in the physical world".
Visual effects house Digital Domain, with whom Cameron
has a partnership, joined the project, which was supposed
to begin production in the summer of 1997 for a 1999
In June 2005, Cameron was announced to be working
on a project tentatively titled "Project 880",
concurrently with another project, Battle Angel. By
December, Cameron said that he planned to film Battle
Angel first for a summer 2007 release, and to film
Project 880 for a 2009 release. In February 2006,
Cameron said he had switched goals for the two film
projects Project 880 was now scheduled for
2007 and Battle Angel for 2009. He indicated that
the release of Project 880 would possibly be delayed
until 2008. Later that February, Cameron revealed
that Project 880 was "a retooled version of Avatar",
a film that he had tried to make years earlier, citing
the technological advances in the creation of the
computer-generated characters Gollum, King Kong and
Davy Jones. Cameron had chosen Avatar over Battle
Angel after completing a five-day camera test in the
early scriptment for Avatar had circulated on the
Internet for years. When the project was re-announced,
copies were subsequently removed from websites. From
January to April 2006, Cameron worked on the script.
Working with Dr. Paul Frommer, linguist and Director
of the Center for Management Communication at USC,
he developed a Na'vi language and culture, the indigenous
race on Pandora. The language has a vocabulary of
about 1000 words, with some 30 having been invented
by Cameron. The tongue's phonemes include ejective
consonants (such as the "kx" in "skxawng")
that are found in the Amharic language of Ethiopia,
and the initial "ng" that Cameron may have
taken from New Zealand Maori.
In June 2006, Cameron said that if Avatar was successful,
he hoped to make two sequels to the film. In a 2009
interview, he stated that the story arc he developed
is large enough to cover two more films.
July, Cameron announced that he would film Avatar
for a summer 2008 release and planned to begin principal
photography with an established cast by February 2007.
The following August, the visual effects studio Weta
Digital signed on to help Cameron produce Avatar.
Stan Winston, who had collaborated with Cameron in
the past, joined Avatar to help with the film's designs.
In September 2006, Cameron was announced to be using
his own Reality Camera System to film in 3-D. The
system would use two high-definition cameras in a
single camera body to create depth perception.
In December 2006, Cameron described Avatar as "a
futuristic tale set on a planet 200 years hence [...]
an old-fashioned jungle adventure with an environmental
conscience [that] aspires to a mythic level of storytelling".
January 2007 press release described the film: "Avatar
is also an emotional journey of redemption and revolution.
It is the story of a wounded former Marine, thrust
unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit an
exotic planet rich in biodiversity, who eventually
crosses over to lead the indigenous race in a battle
for survival," and "We're creating an entire
world, a complete ecosystem of phantasmagorical plants
and creatures, and a native people with a rich culture
put the cost of the film at about $280 million
$310 million to produce and an estimated $150 million
for marketing, noting that about $30 million in tax
credits will lessen the financial impact on the studio
and its financiers. However, a studio spokesperson,
speaking with film website The Wrap, said that the
budget "is $237 million, with $150 million for
promotion, end of story".
is centered around the themes of imperialism and biodiversity.
Cameron has said that Avatar shares themes with At
Play in the Fields of the Lord, and The Emerald Forest,
which feature clashes between cultures and civilizations,
and acknowledged the film's connection with Dances
With Wolves, where a battered soldier finds himself
drawn to the tribal culture he was initially fighting
Comic Con 2009, Cameron told attendees that he wanted
to make "something that has this spoonful of
sugar of all the action and the adventure and all
that". He wanted this to thrill him "as
a fan" but also have a conscience "that
maybe in the enjoying of it makes you think a little
bit about the way you interact with nature and your
fellow man". He added that "the Na'vi represent
something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational
selves, what we would like to think we are" and
that even though there are good humans within the
film, the humans "represent what we know to be
the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world
and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future".
a 2007 interview with Time magazine, Cameron addressed
the meaning of the film's title, answering the question
"What is an avatar, anyway?" Cameron stated,
"It's an incarnation of one of the Hindu Gods
taking a flesh form." He said that "[i]n
this film what that means is that the human technology
in the future is capable of injecting a human's intelligence
into a remotely located body, a biological body".
Cameron stated, "It's not an avatar in the sense
of just existing as ones and zeroes in cyberspace.
It's actually a physical body."
In December 2006, Cameron explained that the delay
in producing the film since the 1990s had been to
wait until the technology necessary to create his
project was advanced enough. The director planned
to create photo-realistic computer-generated characters
by using motion-capture animation technology, on which
he had been doing work for the past 14 months. Unlike
previous motion-capture systems, where the digital
environment is added after the actors' motions have
been captured, Cameron's new virtual camera allows
him to observe directly on a monitor how the actors'
virtual counterparts interact with the movie's digital
world in real time and adjust and direct the scenes
just as if shooting live action; "Its like
a big, powerful game engine. If I want to fly through
space, or change my perspective, I can. I can turn
the whole scene into a living miniature and go through
it on a 50 to 1 scale." Cameron planned to continue
developing the special effects for Avatar, which he
hoped would be released in summer 2009. He also gave
fellow directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson
a chance to test the new technology. Spielberg and
George Lucas were also able to visit the set to watch
Cameron direct with the equipment
technological innovations include "The Volume",
a motion-capture stage six times larger than any previously
used, and an improved method of capturing facial expressions,
enabling full performance capture. To achieve the
latter, actors wore individually made skull caps with
a tiny camera attached, located in front of the actors'
faces, which collects information about their facial
expressions and eyes, which is then transmitted to
the computers. According to Cameron, the method allows
the filmmakers to transfer about 95% of the actors'
performances to their digital counterparts. Besides
a real-time virtual world, the team also experimented
with a way of allowing the computer-generated characters
to interact with real actors on a real, live-action
set while shooting live action.
January 2007, Fox announced that the studio's Avatar
would be filmed in 3D at 24 frames per second despite
Cameron's strong opinion that a 3D film requires higher
frame rate to make strobing less noticeable. Cameron
described the film as a hybrid with a full live-action
shoot in combination with computer-generated characters
and live environments. "Ideally at the end of
the day the audience has no idea which theyre
looking at," Cameron said. The director indicated
that he had already worked four months on nonprincipal
scenes for the film. Principal photography began in
April 2007, and was done around parts of Los Angeles
as well as New Zealand. The live action was shot with
a modified version of the proprietary digital 3D Fusion
Camera System, developed by Cameron and Vince Pace.
According to Cameron, the film will be composed of
60% computer-generated elements and 40% live action,
as well as traditional miniatures. Motion-capture
photography would last 31 days at the Hughes Aircraft
stage in Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California. In
October, Cameron was scheduled to shoot live-action
in New Zealand for another 31 days.
create the human mining colony on Pandora, production
designers visited the Noble Clyde Boudreaux drilling
rig in the Gulf of Mexico during June 2007. They photographed,
measured and filmed every aspect of the rig, which
will be replicated on-screen with photorealistic CGI.
More than a thousand people worked on the production.
James Cameron sent the cast of Avatar off to the jungle
for bonding boot-camp exercises before he started
shooting the film.
Avatar: Music from the Motion Picture
James Horner scored the film, his third collaboration
with Cameron after Aliens and Titanic.Horner recorded
parts of the score with a small chorus singing in
the alien language Na'vi in March 2008. He has also
worked with Wanda Bryant, an ethnomusicologist, to
create a music culture for the alien race. The first
scoring sessions were planned to take place in Spring
2009. British singer Leona Lewis was chosen to sing
the theme song for the film, called "I See You".
An accompanying music video, directed by Jake Nava,
premiered December 15, 2009 on MySpace.
producer Jon Landau, Zoë Saldaña, Stephen
Lang, and Sigourney Weaver appeared at a panel, moderated
by Tom Rothman, at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con on
July 23. 25 minutes of footage was screened in Dolby
3D. Weaver and Cameron appeared at additional panels
to promote the film, speaking on the 23rd and 24th
respectively. James Cameron announced at the Comic-Con
Avatar Panel that August 21 will be 'Avatar Day'.
On this day the trailer for the film was released
in all theatrical formats. The official game trailer
and toy line of the film were also unveiled on this
129-second trailer was released online on August 20,
2009. The new 210-second trailer was premiered in
theatres with Amelia, Astro Boy, Cirque du Freak:
The Vampire's Assistant and Saw VI on October 23,
2009, and then premiered online on Yahoo! on October
29, 2009, to positive reviews. On November 6, 2009
a third trailer was released in front of Disney's
A Christmas Carol, which is almost identical to the
210 second version but including new scenes from the
film. An extended version in IMAX 3D received overwhelming
positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter said that
audience expectations were coloured by "the [same]
establishment skepticism that preceded Titanic"
and suggested the showing reflected the desire for
The teaser-trailer has reached the reputation of among
the most viewed ones in the history of film marketing,
reaching the 1st place of all trailers viewed on Apple.com
with 4 million views. On October 30, to celebrate
the opening of the first 3D cinema in Vietnam, Fox
allowed Megastar Cinema to screen exclusive 16 minutes
of Avatar to a number of press.
three-and-a-half minute trailer of the film premiered
live on November 1, 2009 during a Dallas Cowboys football
game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on the
Diamond Vision screen, the world's largest video display,
and to TV audiences viewing the game on Fox. It is
said to be largest live motion picture trailer viewing
film is heavily promoted in an episode of the Fox
Network series Bones in the episode "The Gamer
In The Grease" (Season 5, Episode 9). Avatar
star Joel David Moore has a recurring role on the
program, and is seen in the episode anxiously awaiting
the release of the film.
A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social
History of Pandora, a 224-page book in the form of
a field guide to the film's fictional setting of the
planet of Pandora, was released by Harper Entertainment
on November 24, 2009. It is presented as a compilation
of data collected by the humans about Pandora and
the life on it, written by Maria Wilhelm and Dirk
Mathison. HarperFestival also released Wilhelm's 48-page
James Cameron's Avatar: The Reusable Scrapbook for
children. The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic
Adventure was released on November 30, 2009 by Abrams
Books. The book features detailed production artwork
from the film, including production sketches, illustrations
by Lisa Fitzpatrick, and film stills. Producer John
Landau wrote the foreword, Cameron wrote the epilogue,
and director Peter Jackson wrote the preface.
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
chose Ubisoft Montreal to create an Avatar game for
the film in 2007. The filmmakers and game developers
collaborated heavily, and Cameron decided to include
some of Ubisoft's vehicle and creature designs into
the film. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game was released
on December 1, 2009, for most home video game consoles
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS), Microsoft Windows
and December 8 for PSP. All versions are rated T by
Toys announced in December 2009, that they are creating
Avatar action figures. Each action figure will be
made with a 3D web tag, called an i-TAG, that consumers
can scan using a web cam, revealing unique on-screen
content that is special to each specific action figure.
A series of toys representing six different characters
from the film is also being distributed in McDonald's
premiered in London on December 10, 2009, and was
released theatrically worldwide from December 16
18. The film was originally set for release on May
22, 2009 during filming, but was pushed back to allow
more post-production time, and to also give more time
for theatres worldwide to install 3-D projectors.
Cameron stated that the film's aspect ratio would
be 1.78:1 for 3-D screenings and that a 2.39:1 image
would be extracted for 2-D screenings. However, the
1.78:1 aspect ratio is actually exclusive to IMAX
3D screenings while all other projection methods (including
digital 3-D) use the 2.39:1 extract. The first photo
of the film was released on 14 August 2009, and Empire
magazine released exclusive images from the film in
its October issue.
Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox announced that
James Cameron's Avatar would open in 178 IMAX theatres
in the US on December 18, 2009, simultaneously with
the motion picture's premiere in conventional theatres.
The IMAX 3D release also opened in 83 IMAX theatres
internationally starting on December 16, for a total
of 261 theatres, making this the widest IMAX release
to date. The previous IMAX theatres record was 231,
when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opened
up in 161 IMAX theatres in the US, and about 70 international.
Avatar was released in a total of 3457 theatres in
the US, of which 2032 theatres are running it in 3D.
90% of all advance ticket sales for Avatar were for
earned $3,537,000 from domestic (United States and
Canada) midnight screenings, partly due to the fact
that it was limited to 2,200 3D screens. The film
earned $27 million on its opening day, and $77,025,481
over its opening weekend domestically, making it the
second largest December opening ever, behind I Am
Legend, and the 25th largest national US weekend opening,
despite a blizzard which blanketed the East Coast
of the United States and reportedly hurt its opening
worldwide gross was an estimated $232,180,000 after
three days, the ninth largest opening-weekend gross
of all time, and the largest for a non-franchise,
non-sequel and original film (adjusted for inflation,
it would rank second after The Da Vinci Code regarding
a non-franchise, non-sequel opening). To date (December
2009), the film has grossed $93,411,301 domestically
and $191,811,230 internationally, with a worldwide
total of $285,222,531.
its release, various film critics and fan communities
predicted the film would be a significant disappointment
at the box office, much like had been thought of Cameron's
previous film Titanic (though it later became the
highest-grossing film of all time, unadjusted for
inflation). This criticism ranged from Avatar's film
budget, to its concept and use of 3-D "blue cat
people". Slate magazine's Daniel Engber complimented
the 3-D effects, but also criticized their character
aspect for reminding him of certain CGI characters
from the Star Wars prequel films and for having the
"uncanny valley" effect.
office analysts' opinions differed from much of the
Internet criticism about the film. Traditional analysts
estimated that the film would be a box office success.
"The holy grail of 3-D has finally arrived,"
said Jeff Bock, box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations.
"This is why all these 3-D venues were built:
for Avatar. This is the one. The behemoth." The
"cautionary estimate" was that Avatar would
bring in around $60 million in its opening weekend.
Bock felt that the number would fall between $80 million
and 100 million, or more than that. Jeffrey Wells
of Hollywood Elsewhere quoted a box-office seer who
believed Avatar would make about $70 million on its
analysts believed the film's three-dimensionality
would help its box office performance, given that
recent 3-D films had been successful.
Cameron said he felt the pressure of the predictions,
but that pressure is good for film-makers. "It
makes us think about our audiences and what the audience
wants," he stated. "We owe them a good time.
We owe them a piece of good entertainment." Cameron
did not want to preach to the audience, but rather
"bring them in" and make sure they have
a good time.
sentiment that Avatar would need "repeat business"
to be a true success, Cameron agreed that "sharing"
is a part of successful films. "When people have
an experience that's very powerful in the movie theatre,
they want to go share it. They want to grab their
friend and bring them, so that they can enjoy it,"
he said. "They want to be the person to bring
them the news that this is something worth having
in their life. That's how Titanic worked."
film received generally positive reviews from film
critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes
reports the film as holding an 84% "Fresh"
approval rating based on 216 reviews. Among the site's
top critics, the film has received a 94% "Fresh"
approval rating based on 34 reviews. At Metacritic,
which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews
from critics, the film holds a "Universal acclaim"
score of 83 based on 34 reviews.
critic Roger Ebert called the film "extraordinary"
and gave it four stars out of four."Watching
Avatar, I felt sort of the same as when I saw Star
Wars in 1977. That was another movie I walked into
with uncertain expectations," he said. "Avatar
is not simply a sensational entertainment, although
it is that. It's a technical breakthrough." Todd
McCarthy of Variety also praised the film, stating,
"The King of the World sets his sights on creating
another world entirely in Avatar, and it's very much
a place worth visiting." Kirk Honeycutt of The
Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review.
"The screen is alive with more action and the
soundtrack pops with more robust music than any dozen
sci-fi shoot-'em-ups you care to mention," he
stated. On the other hand, critic Armond White of
the New York Press described the film as a "simple-minded
anti-industrial critique" and also as the "corniest
movie ever made about the white mans need to
lose his identity and assuage racial, political, sexual
and historical guilt".
have been drawn between the premise of Avatar and
that of Poul Anderson's 1957 short story "Call
Me Joe", where a paralyzed man uses his mind
to remotely control an alien body.] Other reviews
have compared it to the films FernGully: The Last
Rainforest and Pocahontas. Cameron himself acknowledged
that the film is thematically similar to "classic
'going-native'" films such as Dances with Wolves
and At Play in the Fields of the Lord.
New York Film Critics Online have honored the film
with "Best Picture" award. The film also
received nine nominations for the Critics' Choice
Awards of the Broadcast Film Critics Association,
including those for "Best Picture" and "Best
Director".St. Louis Film Critics have nominated
the film for two of its annual awards - "Best
Visual Effects" and "Most Original, Innovative
or Creative Film", and the film won both awards.The
film was a runner-up for the best "Production
Design" award of the Los Angeles Film Critics
Association annual awards.The film also picked up
four nominations for the 67th Golden Globe Awards
including "Best Motion Picture - Drama",
"Best Director", "Best Film Score"
and "Best Film Song".The Austin Film Critics
Association and the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics
Association have placed the film on their top ten
films of the year lists, while Chicago Film Critics
Association has nominated the film for its annual
"Best Cinematography" and "Best Original
Score" awards. The Las Vegas Film Critics Society
has awarded the film with "Best Art Direction"
award, while Florida Film Critics Circle honored the
film with "Best Cinematography" award. London
Film Critics' Circle has nominated the film for its
"Film of the Year" and "Director of
the Year" annual awards. Phoenix Film Critics
Society has honored the film with "Best Cinematography",
"Best Film Editing", "Best Production
Design" and "Best Visual Effects" awards
and also included it on its top-ten films of the year
The film is considered to be a front-runner for Best
Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards due to its strong
box-office and critical reception, and reportedly
successful screening held for Academy members.
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Century Fox Film Corporation (spelled from 1935 to
1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation), also
known as 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, or simply
Fox, is one of the six Worldwide major American film
studios. Located in the Century City area of Los
Angeles, just west of Beverly Hills, the studio
is a subsidiary of News
Corporation, the media conglomerate owned by Rupert
Murdoch. The company was founded in 1935, as the
result of a merger of two entities, Fox Film Corporation
founded by William Fox in 1915, and Twentieth Century
Pictures, begun in 1933 by Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph
Schenck, Raymond Griffith and William Goetz. Some
of 20th Century Fox's most popular movie franchises
include the Star Wars, Home Alone, Die Hard, The Chronicles
of Narnia, Ice Age, Revenge of the Nerds, X-Men, Alien
and Predator series. Some of the famous stars to come
out of this studio were Shirley Temple, Betty Grable,
and Marilyn Monroe. (Credit:
Man does not represent 20th Century Fox