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Author Topic: [movies] James Cameron's Avatar  (Read 20585 times)
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Rumpy
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« Reply #200 on: December 30, 2009, 08:46:03 PM »

Saw this last night in 3D. Hadn't read any reviews, and in fact hardly knew anything about it other than it was about blue creatures and that it used newly designed equipment by Cameron in order to film it to his specifications.

I hold it as one of the best sci-fi movies in decades. It was mesmorizing. Sure, the plot might not be the best there is, but it's the whole trip that it gives you as a whole that makes it all worthwhile. There's a lot of subtlety and nuances in all the details. Details that add to the immersion that this IS a different world, such as the night cycle and how everything's luminescent, the different animals and fauna. I started feeling like Alice exploring all of the awe in Wonderland.  The 3D is not used in a gimmicky way; it's just there, offering you a way to make you feel like you were really there. That's what I feel is the difference compared to most 3D movies out now. Most of them are still like, "Hey, look at me, I'm in 3D! Whoa, hey look at this! Careful, dodge this, dodge that, Oh, it almost hit your eye, sorry about that!" That's the contrast I felt while watching the Shrek 4 trailer and then seeing Avatar, and I believe we're starting to see a convergence. Avatar feels mature in the way it used 3D, and perhaps we'll see more movies use the same equipment that Cameron designed.

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 06:59:47 PM


Has anyone here who wears eyeglasses seen the 3-D version?

I wear glasses all the time and can't do without them. I was initially concerned that they wouldn't fit over my glasses, but I only had to adjust them a few times throughout the movie. Other than that, I didn't really experience any problems. It took me awhile for my eyes to adjust, as they were watering a tiny bit at the beginning, probably due to my eyes trying to compensate. It was a little blurry in some places, but I thought maybe that was more due to the movie and the contrast, which happened more during dark scenes.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 08:50:50 PM by Rumpy » Logged
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« Reply #201 on: December 30, 2009, 08:58:01 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

Deno, did you mean the glasses wouldn't fit well enough over your regular eyeglasses? Or did it give you visual problems when you wore them over them? Just checking.

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

I just got out from seeing it in 3d at the Cinemark XD theater in town (RealD). The glasses were oversized and were OK over my regular glasses. About half way through the extra pressure on my ears got a bit annoying, but I wasn't leaving the theater, no way no how, even though it was my second viewing.

I was scared to wear them over my regular glasses as I had problems with that watching beowulf in 3d but I didn't have the same problem with this. Maybe because the movie was better. slywink
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« Reply #202 on: December 30, 2009, 08:58:13 PM »

Quote
It was a little blurry in some places, but I thought maybe that was more due to the movie and the contrast, which happened more during dark scenes.
That reminds me -- I clean my glasses thoroughly a couple of times a day now.

About 20 years ago, I never cleaned them at all. I remember once my brother and I dropped by a Lenscrafters and they offered to clean them for free (at the time, they would sort of dip your glasses in this strange mixture of warmed beads, and it worked wonders). And I all but shouted, "wow, it's like I have new glasses!" My brother still likes to tell that story today.  icon_razz So I'll try to remember to clean mine before the show tonight.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. My publisher's sending me home early for the day (I'm off next 2 days), so I have time to rest up (or play some LOTRO) before the show tonight.  icon_smile
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« Reply #203 on: December 30, 2009, 08:59:32 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

Those are the ones we got.  I just didn't feel comfortable with them over my regular glasses.  It was kind of the equivalent of wearing sunglasses over eyeglasses.  Doable, but not ideal.

I agree with everything Rumpy says above.  The story is kind of secondary to the entire experience of being in the world.
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« Reply #204 on: December 30, 2009, 10:56:13 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on December 30, 2009, 08:59:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

Those are the ones we got.  I just didn't feel comfortable with them over my regular glasses.  It was kind of the equivalent of wearing sunglasses over eyeglasses.  Doable, but not ideal.

I agree with everything Rumpy says above.  The story is kind of secondary to the entire experience of being in the world.


But a better story would have made it better AND would make it a classic that would last well past the time when other movies will catch up, visually.

I still enjoyed the experience, but it could have been so much more.
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« Reply #205 on: December 30, 2009, 11:01:08 PM »

Quote from: Eel Snave on December 27, 2009, 02:10:18 AM

I just came back from it.  Hated it.  Lazy, lazy story.

I keep forgetting to comment on this. You can spend about 100 hours on Super Mario Galaxy and hate this? For some reason that amuses me.

Watching it again today after reading all of the complaints about the story, I still don't get them. I guess I'm a simpleton (a mensa eligible simpleton, but a simpleton nonetheless).
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« Reply #206 on: December 31, 2009, 12:57:25 AM »

Yeah, I didn't have any problem with the story at all. I found it really well done and captivating. It was really well executed.
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« Reply #207 on: December 31, 2009, 03:48:57 AM »

Problem in getting clip on is that there are several types that you might need. RealD 3D use circularly polarized lens, IMAX 3D use linearly polarized lens. Then there is Dolby 3D which don't use polarized lens but use inteference filter which is like the advanced version of the old anaglyph technique.
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« Reply #208 on: December 31, 2009, 04:13:33 AM »

Wow...what an awesome movie experience.  Sure it was Ferngully, but wow.  Most fun I have had in a movie in a long, long time.
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« Reply #209 on: December 31, 2009, 05:08:45 AM »

Are these glasses disposable, or do you check them out and turn them in?  Seems like a good way to spread cooties if it's the latter.
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« Reply #210 on: December 31, 2009, 05:11:08 AM »

Quote from: dmd on December 31, 2009, 05:08:45 AM

Are these glasses disposable, or do you check them out and turn them in?  Seems like a good way to spread cooties if it's the latter.

disposable
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« Reply #211 on: December 31, 2009, 05:26:29 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on December 31, 2009, 05:11:08 AM

Quote from: dmd on December 31, 2009, 05:08:45 AM

Are these glasses disposable, or do you check them out and turn them in?  Seems like a good way to spread cooties if it's the latter.

disposable

I think the theaters have the option to send the used ones back where the 3d provider repairs, cleans, repackages them and sends them back to the theaters.  The 3d movies I've gone to have always have a recycling box for the glasses.
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« Reply #212 on: December 31, 2009, 08:04:13 AM »

After all that, all 3 evening shows were sold out at the theater, so we saw "Up in the Air" (which was also pretty packed) instead. We loved it -- a perfect movie for our (sad) times.

I'll probably wait a week or two for the crowds to thin out a bit before trying to get in on Avatar.
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« Reply #213 on: December 31, 2009, 01:33:01 PM »

Quote from: Chaz on December 31, 2009, 05:26:29 AM

Quote from: coopasonic on December 31, 2009, 05:11:08 AM

Quote from: dmd on December 31, 2009, 05:08:45 AM

Are these glasses disposable, or do you check them out and turn them in?  Seems like a good way to spread cooties if it's the latter.

disposable

I think the theaters have the option to send the used ones back where the 3d provider repairs, cleans, repackages them and sends them back to the theaters.  The 3d movies I've gone to have always have a recycling box for the glasses.

The IMAX theatre I saw it in 'recycled' them.
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« Reply #214 on: December 31, 2009, 01:56:22 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 30, 2009, 10:56:13 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on December 30, 2009, 08:59:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

Those are the ones we got.  I just didn't feel comfortable with them over my regular glasses.  It was kind of the equivalent of wearing sunglasses over eyeglasses.  Doable, but not ideal.

I agree with everything Rumpy says above.  The story is kind of secondary to the entire experience of being in the world.


But a better story would have made it better AND would make it a classic that would last well past the time when other movies will catch up, visually.

I still enjoyed the experience, but it could have been so much more.

The Scifi movies I still watch, (Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, etc) do not have great stories.  What I love about them is the world they create.  I feel like Avatar is similar in that respect.
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« Reply #215 on: January 02, 2010, 01:54:02 PM »

Not sure what you guys' complaints are about the story.  I was totally into it and loved it.  It was a nice mix of Return of the Jedi (Ewoks) and Dances with Wolves and I really felt for the natives.  Saw the movie last night in 3D and was totally amazed.  This movie is to 3D and CGI what Star Wars was to special effects at the time.  This movie will change how movies are made. 
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« Reply #216 on: January 02, 2010, 03:00:32 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on December 31, 2009, 01:56:22 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 30, 2009, 10:56:13 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on December 30, 2009, 08:59:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

Those are the ones we got.  I just didn't feel comfortable with them over my regular glasses.  It was kind of the equivalent of wearing sunglasses over eyeglasses.  Doable, but not ideal.

I agree with everything Rumpy says above.  The story is kind of secondary to the entire experience of being in the world.


But a better story would have made it better AND would make it a classic that would last well past the time when other movies will catch up, visually.

I still enjoyed the experience, but it could have been so much more.

The Scifi movies I still watch, (Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, etc) do not have great stories.  What I love about them is the world they create.  I feel like Avatar is similar in that respect.

Blade Runner doesn't have a great story?
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« Reply #217 on: January 02, 2010, 03:55:52 PM »

Quote from: Malificent on January 02, 2010, 03:00:32 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on December 31, 2009, 01:56:22 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 30, 2009, 10:56:13 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on December 30, 2009, 08:59:32 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on December 30, 2009, 07:50:50 PM

I've seen the Real 3D glasses look a couple different ways. One seems oversized (almost like something Elton John would wear), the other is more like this:
http://www.reald.com/Content/cinemaProducts.aspx?pageID=13

Those are the ones we got.  I just didn't feel comfortable with them over my regular glasses.  It was kind of the equivalent of wearing sunglasses over eyeglasses.  Doable, but not ideal.

I agree with everything Rumpy says above.  The story is kind of secondary to the entire experience of being in the world.


But a better story would have made it better AND would make it a classic that would last well past the time when other movies will catch up, visually.

I still enjoyed the experience, but it could have been so much more.

The Scifi movies I still watch, (Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, etc) do not have great stories.  What I love about them is the world they create.  I feel like Avatar is similar in that respect.

Blade Runner doesn't have a great story?

Yeah, I don't think any of the movies you mentioned have as weak a story as Avatar.  It was mechanical with no turns.  Every character's motivation is clearly mapped out from the moment you meet them on screen.  Not a single one of them does anything surprising.  Even Aliens, which all but lives in the same exact world as Avatar (the mechs, the smarmy corporate guy, the marines), has a bunch of these moments.  Newt's appearance (in a spot where no one was expected to be alive, let alone a child), the smarmy corporate guy's behavior when faced with a choice, and you're never sure if you can trust Bishop or not.*

In Avatar, he heads out, and from the moment he gets saved by the girl, you know he's gone native.  There's no suspense about where his loyalties lie.  It's basically just waiting for them to come with the dozers.  Now, granted, cool things happen in there.  And, yes, there are a lot of pretty things to see, but in a long movie, you need some basic story points to happen. 

It may not be the worst story ever, but it could have been so much more.  It's a really interesting movie that could have been really great if they'd fleshed it out a little more.  And, frankly, I expect more from Cameron.



*I'm aware you referenced Alien, not Aliens.  It has it's own turns, too (the heroic captain dying so early, Ash, Mother, etc).  I figured I'd make the Cameron connection.
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« Reply #218 on: January 02, 2010, 05:26:58 PM »

Saw this in 3d last night...

AMAZING.
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« Reply #219 on: January 02, 2010, 08:26:53 PM »

Just saw it.

Loved it beyond words.  Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic as far as I'm concerned.

A+
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« Reply #220 on: January 02, 2010, 09:20:11 PM »

We saw it in a "normal" cinema in 3d. Would love to see it at a IMAX theatre. Anyone seen it in both? What did you think?
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« Reply #221 on: January 02, 2010, 09:24:07 PM »

I saw it in both Imax and normal 3D. The Imax had better sound and seats (and naturally a much larger picture), but I thought the 3D was actually better in the normal theatre. The Imax as still a slightly better overall 'experience' though. Worth the effort if you want to see the film a second time!
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« Reply #222 on: January 02, 2010, 09:27:56 PM »

Oh yeah, I want to see it again. We want to take our (grown up) kids to see it. So to make it a full experience probably should plan on an IMAX theatre.

Can't wait for the sequel................10 years from now  smile
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« Reply #223 on: January 02, 2010, 11:02:58 PM »

Quote from: Jiffy on January 02, 2010, 09:24:07 PM

I saw it in both Imax and normal 3D. The Imax had better sound and seats (and naturally a much larger picture), but I thought the 3D was actually better in the normal theatre. The Imax as still a slightly better overall 'experience' though. Worth the effort if you want to see the film a second time!

I saw it in both and agreed about the sound, seats, larger picture, but worse 3d in the IMAX showing. 

I'd vote for "biggest non-IMAX screen you can find" for best overall experience.  Really annoying to have the 3d illusion break a few times in IMAX, and I didn't have that at all in the regular theater.
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« Reply #224 on: January 03, 2010, 01:03:24 AM »

I forgot to mention that the kids had no issues with it (I had asked earlier in this thread if they might have issues).  My 5-year-old girl absolutely loved it and I think it was pretty tame for a PG-13 movie.  She loves the Lord of the Rings movies and so someone saying it was about as intense as that made me okay with taking her.
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« Reply #225 on: January 03, 2010, 07:22:12 PM »

Avatar has topped 1 billion worldwide already @_@

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/01/03/entertainment/e091644S59.DTL&tsp=1
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« Reply #226 on: January 03, 2010, 09:37:37 PM »

Just saw it at an early morning matinee: 10:30am. Even at this showtime on a Sunday the movie was over 3/4 full. I have to say I really liked the movie. And because I saw only one other reference to it, I will also say:

You other directors with your quick cuts, blurred action sequences and shaky cams can learn a lot from James Cameron! I'm looking right at you Michael Bay!

At no time did I feel lost in the action sequences, I could follow the shot-by-shot action, and therefore felt more invested in each of the different Naa'vi and mercenary deaths. I feel as though I would have been able to identify each of the different marines that died if they lined them up at the beginning of the movie and said their names. I would not feel the same way at all about IDing the different transformers that died in Transformers 2.

If nothing else I hope this movie schools the other action movie directors into taking more time with their shots and giving us action sequences we can follow so that we feel invested in the action rather than confused by it.
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« Reply #227 on: January 04, 2010, 12:47:34 AM »

Quote from: raydude on January 03, 2010, 09:37:37 PM

You other directors with your quick cuts, blurred action sequences and shaky cams can learn a lot from James Cameron! I'm looking right at you Michael Bay!

At no time did I feel lost in the action sequences, I could follow the shot-by-shot action, and therefore felt more invested in each of the different Naa'vi and mercenary deaths. I feel as though I would have been able to identify each of the different marines that died if they lined them up at the beginning of the movie and said their names. I would not feel the same way at all about IDing the different transformers that died in Transformers 2.

If nothing else I hope this movie schools the other action movie directors into taking more time with their shots and giving us action sequences we can follow so that we feel invested in the action rather than confused by it.

Very true, and that was something I mentioned to my friends once we left the theatre. Cameron actually knows how to film and showcase action scenes, unlike the moron directors that use continuous quick cuts and shaky cameras for EVERY SINGLE SCENE.
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« Reply #228 on: January 04, 2010, 01:39:52 AM »

Yeah, that's definitely true.  Cameron knows how to make an action sequence, that's for sure.  Now if only he could find a screenwriter he'd be in great shape. Tongue
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« Reply #229 on: January 07, 2010, 01:37:08 PM »

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« Reply #230 on: January 07, 2010, 01:49:29 PM »

I don't think it has been mentioned here yet, but I thought the mineral name "Unobtanium" a.k.a "Unobtainium" was pretty lame. Turns out it is a bit of a joke but allegedly is a legitimate scientific term.  icon_neutral
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« Reply #231 on: January 07, 2010, 02:49:18 PM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 07, 2010, 01:49:29 PM

I don't think it has been mentioned here yet, but I thought the mineral name "Unobtanium" a.k.a "Unobtainium" was pretty lame. Turns out it is a bit of a joke but allegedly is a legitimate scientific term.  icon_neutral

When they first said it in the movie, my first thought was , "Sounds about right...scientists make jokes all the time when naming things."
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« Reply #232 on: January 07, 2010, 03:43:37 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on January 07, 2010, 02:49:18 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 07, 2010, 01:49:29 PM

I don't think it has been mentioned here yet, but I thought the mineral name "Unobtanium" a.k.a "Unobtainium" was pretty lame. Turns out it is a bit of a joke but allegedly is a legitimate scientific term.  icon_neutral

When they first said it in the movie, my first thought was , "Sounds about right...scientists make jokes all the time when naming things."

But it was delivered completely straight-faced.  Surely there would be some mention by the suit or military or other scientists about the ridiculous name.
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« Reply #233 on: January 07, 2010, 04:14:06 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on January 07, 2010, 03:43:37 PM

Quote from: The Grue on January 07, 2010, 02:49:18 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on January 07, 2010, 01:49:29 PM

I don't think it has been mentioned here yet, but I thought the mineral name "Unobtanium" a.k.a "Unobtainium" was pretty lame. Turns out it is a bit of a joke but allegedly is a legitimate scientific term.  icon_neutral

When they first said it in the movie, my first thought was , "Sounds about right...scientists make jokes all the time when naming things."

But it was delivered completely straight-faced.  Surely there would be some mention by the suit or military or other scientists about the ridiculous name.

Apparently it was in the original treatment, but got dropped along the way because the movie was already too long. Itwould have been better if one guy says, "we're here for the blah blah magnetic crystalmethium" and the other says, "screw your unobtainium, we..."
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« Reply #234 on: January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM »

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.
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« Reply #235 on: January 09, 2010, 03:51:54 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.

I heard about that too and was surprised, but then again I imagine it's getting a lot from IMAX ticket sales, seeing as those tickets cost twice what a regular matinee ticket is.  it's cool to see the movie doing well.
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coopasonic
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« Reply #236 on: January 09, 2010, 05:17:42 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 03:51:54 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.

I heard about that too and was surprised, but then again I imagine it's getting a lot from IMAX ticket sales, seeing as those tickets cost twice what a regular matinee ticket is.  it's cool to see the movie doing well.

Yup, I saw it once for $5 and the second time for $14. That's pretty helpful in terms of revenue, though the 2 hr 40 min run time has the opposite effect. It's had pretty incredible international sales.
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« Reply #237 on: January 09, 2010, 05:43:48 PM »

Quote from: coopasonic on January 09, 2010, 05:17:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 03:51:54 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.

I heard about that too and was surprised, but then again I imagine it's getting a lot from IMAX ticket sales, seeing as those tickets cost twice what a regular matinee ticket is.  it's cool to see the movie doing well.

Yup, I saw it once for $5 and the second time for $14. That's pretty helpful in terms of revenue, though the 2 hr 40 min run time has the opposite effect. It's had pretty incredible international sales.

if I can drag myself out of bed I'm going to go see a really early IMAX showing tomorrow for 10 bucks.

it'll be curious to see what Cameron does next, especially if this ends up making a profit after the rumored 500 million dollar budget.
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also because I don't care what you want.
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leo8877
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« Reply #238 on: January 09, 2010, 05:57:26 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 05:43:48 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on January 09, 2010, 05:17:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 03:51:54 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.

I heard about that too and was surprised, but then again I imagine it's getting a lot from IMAX ticket sales, seeing as those tickets cost twice what a regular matinee ticket is.  it's cool to see the movie doing well.

Yup, I saw it once for $5 and the second time for $14. That's pretty helpful in terms of revenue, though the 2 hr 40 min run time has the opposite effect. It's had pretty incredible international sales.

if I can drag myself out of bed I'm going to go see a really early IMAX showing tomorrow for 10 bucks.

it'll be curious to see what Cameron does next, especially if this ends up making a profit after the rumored 500 million dollar budget.

He said that the $500 mil thing was off "by a couple hundred million".
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CeeKay
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« Reply #239 on: January 09, 2010, 06:12:19 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on January 09, 2010, 05:57:26 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 05:43:48 PM

Quote from: coopasonic on January 09, 2010, 05:17:42 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2010, 03:51:54 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on January 07, 2010, 04:33:15 PM

I heard on the radio this morning that Avatar is #3 on the all time gross list and it will be #2 in a matter of days.

I heard about that too and was surprised, but then again I imagine it's getting a lot from IMAX ticket sales, seeing as those tickets cost twice what a regular matinee ticket is.  it's cool to see the movie doing well.

Yup, I saw it once for $5 and the second time for $14. That's pretty helpful in terms of revenue, though the 2 hr 40 min run time has the opposite effect. It's had pretty incredible international sales.

if I can drag myself out of bed I'm going to go see a really early IMAX showing tomorrow for 10 bucks.

it'll be curious to see what Cameron does next, especially if this ends up making a profit after the rumored 500 million dollar budget.

He said that the $500 mil thing was off "by a couple hundred million".

above or below?  icon_wink  looking around it does appear the actual film budget is just a bit above 300 million, with an additional 200 million for advertising and stuff tossed in.
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