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!