Source: Walt Disney Studios
Na’vi returns to the big screen this weekend as Disney looks to reignite interest in the newly acquired Avatar franchise, three months before the debut of the long-delayed first installment, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Bringing the highest-grossing movie ever to theaters has two purposes for Disney: to stir up excitement for “Water Road” and fill a vacancy on the theatrical calendar. One of four sequels over the next decade.
The re-release of the original movie is kind of a real test to see if audiences still want to visit the world of eco-conscious science fiction.
“Many questions have been asked about the film’s pop culture legacy over the past decade, but we also have to remember that James Cameron has been under suspicion before and many have been proven wrong,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. .
Directed by Cameron, the mastermind of “Titanic” and “The Terminator,” “Avatar” opened in late 2009 to widespread acclaim and massive financial success, eventually earning nine Academy Award nominations. But she never really grasped the cultural significance of Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe – both of which are also owned by Disney -. Toy sales have faded and cosplay wearers of heavy blue make-up at pop culture fan conventions are few and far between.
“It’s only natural that all eyes will be on this weekend’s box office performance, as this may be an indication of audience interest in the December release of ‘The Way of Water,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
“Avatar” has attracted audiences for more than a decade, due in part to the technology Cameron helped develop to shoot and animate the movie. The film was shot using the Fusion camera system, which was created by Cameron and cinematographer Vince Pace. Academy Award-nominated films such as Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” and Martin Scorsese’s “Life of Pi” also used this camera system.
Previous systems used two cameras because the filmmakers determined that the human brain processes different information from different sides of the brain. Therefore, one part of the brain will process the movement of the image, while the other part will process what was happening in the image.
Set more than a decade after the events of the first movie, “Avatar: The Way of Water” tells the story of the Sully family.
Cameron and Bass created a camera that could take pictures the same way the human eye does. The results were amazing – just look at the ticket sales.
During its initial run, “Avatar” grossed $2.78 billion globally. It added additional ticket sales over the years through re-releases, reclaimed the box office crown of Avengers: Endgame in 2021 when it was redistributed in China, and topped $2.84 billion.
The majority of tickets sold for the movie were for 3D shows, which tend to be more expensive than regular tickets. These excellent tickets, along with a nine-month run in theaters, helped boost “Avatar’s” box office gross.
“We know that IMAX and others [premium format] Robbins said screens are the main driver of business now and moving forward, but 3D’s popularity in North America has waned rapidly in the years since the first original release of “Avatar.” “With very rare exceptions, 3D has simply started turning off many moviegoers for a variety of reasons – filmmakers can control some, but not all.”
The “3D gold rush” in the wake of the “Avatar,” as Dergarabedian calls it, has further saturated the market. Many of the 3D versions were movie diversions that didn’t quite fit the format, so the quality as well as interest from audiences declined.
While 3D films are no longer favored by domestic audiences, they are still exceptionally popular internationally – especially in China. In fact, Avatar made the bulk of its money outside the US – $2.08 billion.
“If I’m reading between the lines of this distribution plan, it appears that Disney and 20th Century Studios are measuring the state of 3D brands and may use the box office results to inform how to approach the ‘Water Way,'” Robbins said. “While Cameron will want to push the 3D version out for fans who want to see it the way he filmed it, it’s also hard to ignore the very large audience who have never been as fond of the format as they are with other 2D premium viewing options.”
Current estimates for the film’s re-release range from $7 million to $12 million, with box office analysts saying the figure in his mid-teens would be “huge”. It also faces stiff competition from the historical action epic “The Woman King,” which had a strong opening last weekend and could prepare for a long and successful run at the box office.
“It would be an exaggeration to say there is a lot of riding on the Avatar brand with at least three more video clips on the way,” Dergarabedian said. “The re-release of the original this weekend will be the backbone of what the future holds for the Pandora universe and beyond.”
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