New Avatar Updates: Running Time, Cameron is Everywhere
by Alex Billington
November 22, 2009
As of today, there are only 26 days or 623 hours left until James Cameron's Avatar finally hits theaters. That means Fox is really kicking their marketing into high gear and Cameron himself is at the forefront of it. There's a whole boatload of new Avatar updates today, but I've picked out the most important ones, so as to not overload you with footage, because we've seen plenty already. First up, THR recently confirmed that the running time is set at 150 minutes. Say what you will about watching nearly three hours of blue aliens on Pandora, but The Dark Knight had a running time of 152 minutes, and we all know how well that movie did.
Now that we know that the running time is pretty much as long as The Dark Knight, it's not an excuse to blame the running time for its failure (if it does indeed flop). I don't think it will, there's just no way it'll flop, but if a movie just two minutes longer than Avatar can make over $1 billion worldwide, then running time isn't a factor. I don't want to get into the reasons of why it might flop, but I'll admit (even as a James Cameron fan) there are plenty. And right now I just don't know how well it'll do and I'm honestly worried about it. I do know, however, that I'm pumped to see 150 minutes of brightly colored luminescent brilliance!
USA Today has an interesting article titled "Some theaters trapped in 2nd dimension by credit freeze" addressing the concern that there aren't enough 3D theaters. Fox distribution chief Bruce Snyder "guesses" that Avatar will be shown on 3,500 screens in 3D. Originally, Cameron wanted this to show in 5,000 screens, but they blame the bad economy for preventing more theaters from converting to 3D. Apparently that smaller number will mean that "people may have to wait until the second or third week to see it (in 3-D) at a theater near them or… drive a little further." But the question is: will people actually make that drive?
SlashFilm also ran a fairly interesting article about how they found a quote on Friday saying that "around 30 minutes of the movie remain incomplete." And yet it's out in only 26 days? They go on to say that it's not really a cause for concern. Sure they're really cutting it close finishing this movie, but they'll make it on time. According to MarketSaw (as of last week), Peter Jackson's Weta Digital has finished all of their work on the movie (which they started many years ago). But most importantly, producer Jon Landau said of the final shots coming in: "Every shot we get back raises the standard for what follows." Can't wait to see ’em!
Speaking of James Cameron, that guy is appearing everywhere these days. If only I could get a few minutes one-on-one with him, I'd be the happiest guy in the world. Not only did he recently get interviewed by LA Times, Total Film, and even Playboy, but he's appearing on 60 Minutes tonight as well. Cameron will be appearing on the show tonight to talk about Avatar and, of course, his thoughts on why 3D is the future. You can catch that starting at 7PM tonight (Sunday) if you're interested. Of course, we'll continue to keep you up-to-date on all things Avatar, especially these last 26 days. I know I'm counting down the minutes!
Reader Feedback - 48 Comments
I really liked this movie when it was called Ferngully and it's run time was like an hour and change.
Stevo on Nov 22, 2009
I've still mixed feelings on this movie..
Kris on Nov 22, 2009
lol @ #1, funniest shit. yeah ferngully was awesome. avatar will most likely be visually great but completely FLAT on every other aspect. story = flat, acting = flat
Jason on Nov 22, 2009
K on Nov 22, 2009
I was just picking on it a little. But let's be honest here. We've seen this movie before. Last Samurai is probably the closest as it dealt with two warring societies where the more advanced one's plans of domination are foiled by the technologically inferior but morally virtuous society with the help of a fish out of water convert. No one is going to see Avatar for the story. Everyone is going for the stunning visuals. Honestly I wish Cameron would have chosen a better story to show off his visual magic, but I am not going to complain too much. I loved "9" even though it was a played out story. I doubt I won't love Avatar.
Stevo on Nov 22, 2009
Alex, go watch Dances with Wolves and Last Samurai, then tell me this story isn't flat.
Movieraider321 on Nov 22, 2009
I love how people come out and try to act like they are too good for some movies by saying it looks alright and don't seem too thrilled. Whatever, you're going to see it. I knew Transformers 2 would have a lame story and lame acting (as all Bay movies do), which it did, and I still went to see it just to turn my brain off for a couple hours. It looked flawed in its trailers and it didn't dissapoint. Clearly Avatar offers more. It actually has something resembling a story and will most likely be much better than anything Transformers 2 offered. It just kills me to see serious bashing of a movie like this that isn't even out. Probably some of the same people that bashed The Dark Knight too before its release. I'm not saying it will be the best movie ever, but I have a feeling Avatar will be entertaining.
jjboldt on Nov 22, 2009
Hahaha Alex TDK was coming off BB and it is based on an existing franchise with a massive fanbase so the running time of 152 minutes was justified. Avatar doesn't has even fraction of the TDK fanbase and has mixed buzz and hype. The running time is justified as it is a James Cameron epic but still only a miracle can save this from flopping. I can already seen headlines "James Cameron has lost it. 500M on blue people?" Anyways let us hope for the best.
JoJo on Nov 22, 2009
Awesome! Can't wait!
M-Cat on Nov 22, 2009
#8 I agree completely!
Leoben on Nov 22, 2009
I'll probably end up seeing it. Looks like it will be entertaining. I do admit the story feels a bit flat to me, as least from what I've seen in the trailers. It's been done a lot. I'm tired of the whole "dances with wolves" type plot. Who knows, there could be a lot more to it though. *shrug* What makes me dislike this movie before I even see it is the hype. The people commenting just make me dread anything about this. You say one bad thing about it and people shove Cameron and insults down your throat.
Sabes on Nov 22, 2009
if its like Dances with Wolves or The Last Samurai then i'm sold, and I'm happy I stayed away from the hype, I'm seeing this movie based soley on the fact that it reminds me of Enemy Mine.
xerxex on Nov 22, 2009
Look no offence intended to anyone but whenever I read an article written by an American, the subject of a films running time always seems to come up. What's the big deal?!?!?
d1rEct on Nov 22, 2009
You can still blame run time on a potential flop. Some people may rather see a Batman flick at 2 hours 30 minutes, than an alien sci fi rip off of Dance With Wolves. So preference plays a part in run time, there is no blanket statement that says "well this film has the same target demo. and is the same length so time doesn't play a factor," I think its a bit more complicated than that. But thats just me.
Al on Nov 22, 2009
Alex, your hanging the whole movie on the fact it's James Cameron. If this was getting made by anybody else than you wouldn't be hyping it. It is purely just visuals, anybody saying they are going cause of the story is a liar. And stop saying Avatar will be amazing... you don't know that, again your hanging on to the fact it is Cameron, but every great director has a bad film in their life-time, this could be Cameron's.
Ben on Nov 22, 2009
ummmmmmmm how can anyone possibly judge a movie accurately before it comes out? either see it or don't. Plus, practically every movie made is based off of a story already done in some fashion. Take a history of pop culture class. I'm going to see it based off of KNOWING it will be like nothing I've ever SEEN before. The story may be familiar but thats okay. Whether or not I like it or not, well isn't that why we go and see movies?
Jason on Nov 22, 2009
I'm not really interested in this movie. I'm still waiting for Titanic II.
daniel on Nov 22, 2009
Running time can definitely be a factor of a film's failure or success. But it's a very indirect factor. TDK's running time wasn't a factor because (A) the marketing for the film was brilliant and people wanted to go see it because it looked like a quality film and (B) it turned out the film wasn't just a summer popcorn flick, but in fact the quality film they had been marketing. In this case, running time wasn't an issue at all. Where running time makes a difference is with a film that already is getting negative hype. If Avatar was looking amazing to everyone, no one would give a shit about the running time. People would WANT it to be long. But since the film isn't getting such favorable opinions at this point, people just roll their eyes when they hear about a long running time. Who wants to sit that long through a film that already looks bad? I guarantee millions of dollars are already lost on box office numbers because some of the people who were MAYBE going to go see it are now thinking twice about sitting through 2.5 hours of Avatar in theaters. And #18, in response to your question about how anyone can judge a film before it comes out. Umm, you're right on one hand, but completely wrong on the other. The whole point of marketing a film before it comes out is for the prospective audience to judge it favorably before it comes out. If marketing is terrible, most people won't go see the film in theaters. It's totally stupid to say you shouldn't judge a film before it comes out. That's why millions of dollars go into campaigns to get idiots like all of us on this site to buy into the hype on an over-produced pile of CG that may or may not be great or a stinking piece of 1/2 billion dollar Hollywood shit.
Marty Martin on Nov 22, 2009
you seriously have to stop comparing everything to the dark knight. its a good movie but you are constantly comparing new movies to it. the return of the king was much longer than the dark knight but it made even more money so why didn't you use that as an example?
bob on Nov 22, 2009
Maybe everyone should chill out and choose to either see the movie or not, Alex is clearly a fan and unfortunately may make majority of his posts related to this movie. Maybe judgements should be made AFTER the movie comes out. No-one knows how much it'll make how it'll perform etc. I agree with #21 maybe this and many other "Major" films getting ready to be released should stop being compared to the The Dark Knight and just let it stand on it's own.
Dude on Nov 22, 2009
Where are the fricken toys?! I want that bad ass aircraft carrier jet thing with all the missiles and guns and stuff!
TediusTed on Nov 22, 2009
#20, but it should not be the basis alone to see a movie or not. And we all know, marketing doesn't always portray a movie like it should. (ex: Inglorious Basterds) I am not saying that its wrong all the time. But to pass up on a movie based off of less than 10 minutes of footage of an entire feature film, is IMO wrong. The studio plays a BIG role in marketing for a film. It's not always the director's complete fault for poor marketing. Cameron seems to know what he's doing based off his track record. I am actually not a Cameron fan boy by any means. In fact, I have not seen many of his films in their entirety. However, I am positive that this movie will be unlike anything anyone has ever SEEN. Like I said before, whether or not its enjoyable as a movie is to be determined. Transformers 2 was a visual treat, but not really a good movie. I just don't see the point of completely judging a film based off a edited together trailer. The trailer may prevent you from catching it in theaters, but it shouldn't keep someone from seeing a movie ever. I'm not saying you are saying these things, but a lot of people on these boards are. And i didn't say you shouldn't judge a movie before it comes out. I said you can't accurately judge it. Big difference lol. If I had said that, there wouldn't ever be that moment in theaters after a preview where you turn to the person you are with and say, "Man I want to see that! or That looks like it will suck" lol
Jason on Nov 22, 2009
New moon made more money on it's opening day then the dark knight in case anyone's wondering....
Yo on Nov 22, 2009
Cause it's on a different planet and at a different time, that makes it entirely different? Seriously, I wonder sometimes how the hell you have a movie site. Next, #8 is right. I will see it, as Netflix, I could stream it or rent it as I do many movies just to see them. There are very very very few movies I won't ever watch such as Slumdog Millionaire or Napoleon Dynamite. Alex Alex Alex...why do you make things so easy? It has a long runtime like Dark Knight...ZOMG!!! No one cares!!! Movies can be long, but it's 150mins in 3D!!!!!!! That's when the caring begins!!! We've seen Lord of the Rings and other long movies, but not in 3D. I seriously wonder if there are going to be side affects to 3d viewing as often as some people are doing now. Like many things, no one cared at the time, best example is smoking. No one really knew what it did and now look. Who knows if this whole 3D thing will cause earlier blindness. It'll be quite humorous if it does actually, but I'm dark and twisty like that. Still, I never said the movie will suck but it is far from anything spectacular. I like Cameron, I'm not a fanboy but going over his movies, I have seen many if not most without realizing it. Still, I have no hope for this movie in blowing me away as I saw Ferngully, Starship Troopers, and other movies with the same plot of fighting and heavy sci-fi action where the humans learn to care and love for the beauty of things. Wow, after typing that I really want to find you Alex and slap you across the face with a glove. How can you not admit the premise of this story has been over done so much and so unoriginal? It's ok, many great movies have used this since its beginning, ya know, back when literature was really starting out *cough* BC *cough* but never the less it may be a good action movie. I'd grow tired staring at ugly blue aliens for that long and the stupid inter-species romance. Love scenes and romance are for hot aliens if anything as this is not a compromise for women when husbands or boyfriends force their special someones to go. Action...yes! Probably some sweet explosions and gunfire and animals taking down ships. maybe Bay should have directed it, but the real problem is that it's a dinky cheesy drawn out plot for what? it's been done and I'd be all supportive if the plot was something new or the previews showed some decent possible twist like the human really just tricked the blue things and gained their trust only to kill them all. That'd be awesome but I doubt that as it's too unpredictable and we know how predictable movies are...thus the problem. 150mins of predictability. Titanic was that way as well, but you know women. Lord of the Rings, Frodo went crazy and lost fingers! Sam and Frodo never made love, I mean...there were some surprises! lol Also it was a series and the battles were very nice although I just fast forward to those now. If this was 2hrs, I'm all for it. The Dark Knight had a plot and wasn't sold on action. In fact I hear more people wanting the great detective to be a detective which they hinted more at this round withe bullet and such. Length is the problem matched with the plot. If it was 150mins of killing like The Expendables will be, although not as long, awesome movie.
Tra la la la la di da on Nov 22, 2009
Is anyone flat out, definitely not going to see this? I mean.. even if you think it's gonna suck and you post about how over-hyped it is or how you think the CG looks bad, don't you still want to watch it just to know if your assumptions were correct or if they were dead wrong? I know it's a long movie but whats a few hours? Are any of you "avatar-haters" down right opposed to EVER watching this film? Because as far as I'm concerned, to truly know if you're right won't you have to end up seeing it?
Leoben on Nov 22, 2009
This movie will rule this year, I predict 10 billion dollars...muhahahahah
eatacookie on Nov 22, 2009
#26 you sound like an idiot. your rant about 3D having negative affects to viewers was stupid at best and completely unimportant. Theres no reason for you to compare this to Titanic or Lord of the Rings other than there both very long movies, and two of the most acclaimed and academy award winning films ever. So whats your point? Also, from what I can tell people weren't sick of the dances with wolves "concept" (and I can assure you that dances with wolves was not the first film to use this concept) when ferngully came out. And they weren't sick of it still, when Starship Troopers came out (which I think is a bad reference but you made it). They STILL weren't sick of it when Last Samurai came out. All of those movies were well received films that people truly enjoy. So take that concept, change it up quite a bit, add in amazing visuals and locales, and throw in some awesome action sequences... I don't know why people won't even give it a chance, it has potential! In fact if i had to choose that "concept" taking place with a period piece about native americans, a cartoon with fairies in a forest, a period piece about samurais, or a sci-fi/action-adventure film about aliens on another planet, I'd choose the sci-fi one! I agree you can't say it will be amazing before it comes out but you can't say it'll be horrible either. People need to chill out with this bullshit. Go see the movie... if you hate it you hate it, if you like it you like it. That's all there is to it.
C in C on Nov 22, 2009
Since when 150min equals "nearly three hours"? Could also say "nearly two hours" and be equally correct.
hewitt on Nov 22, 2009
Alex, once again I'm not saying it's exactly like that, but it is very similar. The fact of the matter is that while it may be set on a different planet and it may be in the future. The overall story is the same, it just has tweaks and differences. I'm not saying this is going to be shitty, because frankly I enjoyed both Dances and Samurai, but to base this on Cameron is not a good idea. He has made some bad films, I won't mention it but Titanic, another extremely hyped up film, did not live to it's name. The script for it was god awful, and overall it wasn't that good. Did you see the alternate ending? It was on the internet for awhile before they took it down. The fact that he shot it, and made that scene...makes me lose hope in this guy. And yes while it was 10 years in the making, it doesn't mean it's going to be good, just polished, and a polished piece of shit still stinks. But I won't pass judgement on the film until I see it, then who knows could be the greatest thing ever made, or another hype gone flop
Movieraider321 on Nov 22, 2009
Depends how Cameron goes about the tad cliche story...if he does it right and doesnt make it feel like the same dances with wolves formula this movie will no doubt rock. Think we all know the action will be amazing. O and btw this site is getting swarmed with a buncha ranting oneuppers that have no lives seriously, have these arguements in person not in pointless bullshit paragraphs on a goddamn movie comment thread.
Cody on Nov 22, 2009
This movie is the last of its kind. A movie that is not a remake , sequeal or a reboot of something done in the 1980s, ect! People bashing this movie are exactly the reason this era has NO originality. I been following this movie for years. No other director would DARE take a challenge like this on. If this movie flops, all we will get is just numorous remake & sequels to marvel & DC, transformers, harry potter, twilight & bad CGI Animated films "exluding Pixar"! Ive seen alot of these remake & sequeals on Bootlegs! I REFUSE to pay my hard earned money on CRAP! The studios know how stupid it's audience is, they know what makes the $$$! Thats good on a business level, but I don't play that! GOOD LUCK AVATAR, & thank you James Cameron, for giving us something NEW, instead of Titanic 2, or a remake of Aliens!
Jeremy on Nov 22, 2009
there are some long comments, I'm intimidated O.o
xerxex on Nov 23, 2009
The A-man is on the bandwagon. About a year and a half ago he didnt give this movie a shot because it was in all 3D and he was very anti-gimmick. Now he's all over this like white on rice. Truth be told, bandwagon rider indeed.
GP Productions on Nov 23, 2009
lol 33, A Serious Man, A Single Man, Up in the Air, Inglorious Basterds, District 9, The Hurt Locker.......yeah no originality...and that is just this year alone.
Movieraider321 on Nov 23, 2009
I believe if one read about 'Avatar' - its definition and not the "James Cameron movie", then crash that into James Camerons imagination then exclamation mark the uppercased word EPIC, that person will appreciate the excitement surrounding it. Any story to be compressed to sound flat. Thats why James needs 150 mins. This movie would have been 3 hours and I probably would have been just as excited. Cameron has never done epic. He sort of did with Terminator. The movie described how epic the war in the future is. Cameron is going there, now.
Ostilad on Nov 23, 2009
I saw the TV spot for Avitar last night here in England it opens here 17 th December not abad tv spot though
Cineprog on Nov 23, 2009
Alex, I appreciate 90% of the stuff you write about and will still come to this site, but you have to admit you are getting pwned on Avatar. But this is the first time you've actually admitted it'll flop so congrats on finally realizing that. One of the very few criticisms of the Dark Knight was its run time.
branden on Nov 23, 2009
"When has Cameron ever made a bad movie before?" Do I have to be the one to bring up Titanic
Elle on Nov 23, 2009
Why the story is flat ... As I remember most of the greatest stories ever told and made into movies were based on the clash between the good and bad !!! for the power !!! ... Lord of the rings ?... Star Wars ? ...and many more...! Then why this one is flat .... ? ( I am not sure if anyone make any similarity between the movie and what USA politics did to ( As they called it) the third world ( specially Iraq and Afghanistan ) ... As I understand AVATAR is about the fight for the grey rock that cost 20 million a kg .. that give a big energy that keep earth alive ... and that material is on another planet called Pandora ... !!!! Now ... The Movie The Reality A beautiful Planet (Pandora) = Iraq or Afghanistan !!! 😉 Grey rock (20 000 000 kg) = Oil or as they called it ( The Black Gold ) By the name of saving planet earth = By the name of peace Fight and I will give you your new legs = Fight and I will give you the American Dream (Michael Moor's Documentary were so boring and hard to understand !!! 😉 ... Maybe this movie will make it easier for you to understand were the truth is hiding !!! ) 😉 If we accept Lord of the Rings and Star Wars ... then it is not a bad idea we accept this one too 😉 ... Lets see what is Cameron's vision .... !!! ........................... Just for your information ..... I am an Artist ... not a political person ... 😉
Shero on Nov 23, 2009
Alex I agree 100% with you.And Titanic was great too.Pretty revolutionary at the time (like most movies directed by James).Ok you guys didn't get the love story because you are all so butch and tough, but don't forget the amazing reconstruction and research done to bring the story to life. I personally ADORE every single Cameron's movie (Aliens and The Abyss on top). That's me.Nobody will change my mind, and I will not even try to change yours. But let's me just remind you that some of he best movies ever made have a pretty simple story. Or even a story seen and heard million times.On the other hand you can have a script totally original, and the movie will still suck. Think about it.
Ambient on Nov 23, 2009
the more footage i see from this movie,the more i want to see it.december 18th,get your cold ass here pronto,ill see you in desert imax3d,catedral city.
judas on Nov 23, 2009
It seems that most of you fanboys are obsessed with The Dark Knight. I love The Dark Knight as well. But I find it so amusing that you same idiot fanboys criticize Avatar because it's been done already: Dances, Last Samurai, Ferngully, whatever. There is absolutely nothing, and I mean NOTHING!!!, that is original about The Dark Knight. All characters used in TDK have been used a thousand times.....bank robberies?...used a million times......name one thing original about it?.....NOTHING! NOTHING! NOTHING!....but yet you seem to give it a pass.....why?....because it's not what the story is it's how it is told that made it awesome. Name one movie that is 100% original?Movies are the same as music, artists all borrow from those before, no one is 100% original. For now I am giving James Cameron the benefit of the doubt because his track record indicates that Avatar will be great....can't wait.
Bishop on Nov 23, 2009
No people, the story is not flat, and I know you cannot give me one valid reason why it might be. If our basis for judging a story's worth and value was noticing that it is similar to another story, then half the stories out there would be "flat". The fact is, you don't know. Any of you. You can say you do, and give bulls**t reasons why you do, but you don't. You haven't seen the movie. A movie is all about the details, ESPECIALLY a James Cameron movie. But rational thinking doesn't occur to you. You would rather sound intelligent by acting informed and criticizing a movie that hasn't come out yet. Just shut up, because no one cares what some idiotic internet brat thinks of a movie they haven't even seen yet.
Logan on Nov 23, 2009
Looks like this board has a few trolls on it. Too many similar comments written by "different" people. Alex you should start checking peoples IP addresses and making sure people only post as one name. This is rediculous.
Vold on Nov 23, 2009
WAIT! wait...wait....wait...hold on a minute! Giovanni Ribisi is in it? Correct! I'm seeing it for him. And because it reminds me of Enemy Mine(The BEST Dennis Quaid movie EVER!!!!!!!)
xerxex on Nov 23, 2009
Shero "Just for your information ….. I am an Artist … not a political person" Thank God you're an artist because you are way too dense for any profession that requires rational thought.
John on Dec 8, 2009
Sorry, no commenting is allowed at this time.