Cameron: Titanic 3-D in 2012, Extended Avatar This Summer

March 12, 2010
Source: USA Today

James Cameron

If you kept your eyes on the box office the week before Alice in Wonderland hit theaters in IMAX 3-D, you saw Avatar take back the #1 box office spot the entire week leading up to Alice's release, not to mention that despite Disney's box office reign that weekend, nearby digital 3-D screens showing Avatar saw a decent increase in numbers, showing that there is still demand. So to counteract the money Fox might be losing,  THR's Heat Vision reports that an extended cut of Avatar might head back to IMAX in late summer. In related news, Cameron says they're aiming for a 3-D theatrical re-release of Titanic sometime in 2012.

First, on Avatar's re-release, the main driving force seems to be money (obviously) as James Cameron told USA Today: "The word we’re getting back from exhibitors is we probably left a couple hundred million dollars on the table as a result." And Fox isn't going to let that much money go to waste, not when they have the highest grossing and most lucrative IMAX release ever at their fingertips with $127.1 million of its $712.5 million domestic haul coming from IMAX showings. Additionally, Avatar has done more than 80% of its domestic business in 3D theaters, which represented fewer than half of its runs. That's just crazy!

However, there is some artistic merit to the re-release considering the theatrical cut of Avatar was missing about 40 minutes of additional material that didn’t make the original cut, and Cameron said about 10-12 minutes of that footage could be quickly put through post-production and be ready to add to a director’s cut for a theatrical reissue or as an extra on the DVD release. Of course, around 10 minutes is all Cameron could add for an IMAX re-release considering the maximum length a movie that can be released in IMAX is 170 minutes and the current cut of Avatar comes in around 160 minutes. The summer re-release would follow the DVD premiere of Avatar in 2-D, which will happen as soon as next month and no later than May.

On the Titanic 3-D front, the hopeful re-release was brought up in the aforementioned interview with USA Today, where Cameron said the hope was to have the 3-D re-release of Titanic hit in the spring of 2012 in order to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship's doomed voyage. Cameron continues to criticize the mishandling of 3-D and how it's ruining the potential 3D has of making the moviegoing experience all the more magical. For example, he rags on all the studios converting nearly every last movie into 3-D:

"You know, everybody is an overnight expert. They think, 'what was the takeaway lessons from Avatar? Oh you should make more money with 3D.' They ignore the fact that we natively authored the film in 3-D, and decide that what we accomplished in several years of production could be done in an eight week (post-production 3-D) conversion with 'Clash of the Titans.' It's never going to be as good as if you shot it in 3-D, but think of it as sort of 2.8-D."

"If people put bad 3-D in the marketplace they're going to hold back or even threaten the emerging of 3-D. People will be confused by differences in quality. Because the audience doesn't know the difference -- when they put on the glasses on, they don't know if the problem is in the glasses, the TV or the actual way in which the stereo space is managed by the producers of the film."

Despite the fact that I agree with the mishandling of 3-D by studios, I'm not so sure audiences can actually tell the difference between a film shot natively in 3-D and a film that's converted in post-production. Still, I wholeheartedly agree with Cameron that converting older films to 3-D -- a la Titanic or the talks of the potential Star Wars 3-D conversions -- should be left to the original filmmakers when possible. "I think it should be driven by the artist. If Star Wars gets converted into 3-D I think George (Lucas) should do it. If Terminator gets converted into 3-D, I should do it." So what are you waiting for, James? Get on it! Check out the rest of the lengthy interview with Cameron about Avatar, 3-D technology and more at USA Today.

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  • DRM
    I don't get it. Cameron goes on and on about how just converting something into 3D is SO BAD. Then they talk about doing it for "Titanic" and he turns around and says that it's "okay if the original artist does it." Sounds to me like he's just an arrogant dude.
  • Xerxex
    I'm currently giving Cameron and 3-D the finger.
  • moonscar
    That's right. DRM speaks the truth! I'm thankful to Cameron for Terminators and Aliens but now is "firstshowing" is true colors, and I dont mean the blue ones... more like green and that's the color of money. "Oh, it's allright cause it's me..." Greetings from Portugal Ethan.
  • shadow
    I could tell with Alice, many scenes looked just plain off or flat. Also many effects seemed to be shot at a high shutter speed (that is to say little blurring), in 3D the unfortunate side effect is flickering of fast moving pieces of the image.
  • Akirakorn
    To quote Cameron: "People will be confused by differences in quality. Because the audience doesn't know the difference" I spent months researching the (Digital) IMAX screen here (in Hawaii), from the moment they started building it. Had to see Transformers to find out for myself, and I'll never fall for it again. If the theater owners had been more forthcoming, I wouldn't mind. So with his "extended cut" and "3D re-release of Titanic" we all know he's in it for the money. Why spend 200 million on his next big movie (Battle Angel) when you can only spend 10-20 million and still rake in the money. Same reason Rodriguez never went back to Sin City. Money. At least Micheal Bay doesn't lie about it.
  • #5 - I think Cameron was mainly referring to regular audiences. If you're reading this site, you're probably well-versed enough in cinema to know the difference, but most people who go sees movies aren't. He makes a great point about that. However, I don't get what you're trying to say about making money just by converting Titanic. You're saying he should cancel Battle Angel and just re-release Titanic in 3D as an alternative? Why not do both - which he probably is. Your statements don't make sense.
  • ChickenSuit
    April fools?
  • malbojah
    I'm surprised that the DVD for Avatar is coming out so soon
  • bigtucky
    In the article, Cameron refered to the Re-release of Avatar as something Fox wanted to do. Now this is his project and his baby, so of course he'll do it, and make more money. And titanic's conversion wouldn't be the cut and paste 3D but a slow process that will be done the right way. You know, it's funny reading all this criticizing about someone who earned his right to be a multi-millionaire. I'm sure that anyone who left a comment on this article, myself included, would love to make money on a new idea or gimmick. Free internet sights are great, but if you have something truly marketable, then yeah, we're all going to sell out. That's how you get rich people!
  • peter T'Sas
    10-12 minutes. Not enough to improve on the story, and likely more fighting scenes. I might go and see it again because of its beauty, but not for the extra time. How about the DVD? Will it get more than those 10 min?
  • Movieraider321
    I'm surprised no one has said "Fuck this shit" because that's what I said when I read the article. I have never hated a director more than James Fuckin Cameron.
  • Craig
    #1: I completely agree. Sounds to me like Cameron was genuinely opposed to "fake 3D". Until someone pointed out the buckets and buckets of money he could make from re-releasing Titanic in 3D. And suddenly, ooooh, fake 3D is fine as long as the original director is in charge of the process.
  • puke like it's 1997
    Jack is back!!! in all 3D glory!!!!
  • BrentD
    This is pretty cool, but I am still a little disgruntled at this whole "IMAX" thing. I know Alex posted an article a while back about the same issues that I am having with IMAX (referring to the decrease in size of screen and the "phony" IMAX that is being marketed around the U.S.), but nothing has really changed since filmmakers and movie goers have shown their discomfort on the issue. I live in the Washington D.C. area, which just so happens to be blessed with the presence of multiple Smithsonian Institute locations that have AMAZINGLY great IMAX theatres (the one that I go to is the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum...saw the Dark Knight, Transformers 2 and Star Trek there and it was great!). However, I called the Smithsonian to get answer to the question of "why is Avatar not playing at any of your theaters?" The person on the phone explained to me that the distribution company had told them that the Smithsonian HAD to have constant showings of Avatar ALL day and there was no exceptions. The Smithsonian, being an educational institute, of course told them to fuck off and that they would have to play the educational IMAX films until museum close time (4 pm) then the showings of any other non-educational material could take place. That being said, there were no showings of Avatar that ever appeared at that REAL IMAX theater. What gives? You would think that with the success of all the showings of TDK, T2 and ST, they would be down on their knees begging Cameron to give them Avatar. That movie would be sold out for every showing for months if they played it there, because people know that there is a huge difference in quality. My question is, why would they not play it there, and is this new extended version ever going to make it to the place where it should have been playing from the beginning? Sorry for the wall of text, I am just pretty irritated at the bullshit marketing scheme they are doing for IMAX...if any one of you have been to that theater, you would know EXACTLY what I'm talking abot when I say that the quality is not the same.
  • I am not done watching it in 3D yet. It's a shame they took the movie out of Imax while it was still selling out.
  • People's Champ
    Wasnt Shutter Island #1 for a cuuple of weeks leading up to Alice? Avatar hasnt been #1 since the Jan 29 - Feb 4 weekend.
  • ImaginaryVisionary
    I still don't understand why everyone wants to sniff Cameron's jock strap. I'll admit Avatar was a dazzling film, but it was pretty weak in story and I have no doubt....had they felt the need to do it, directors like Spielberg, Scorsese, and even Michael Bay could have pulled off the same "effects" with an even better story. Hate to steal my own name...but Cameron is the ideal imaginary visionary. I agree with the author of this article that audiences can't tell the difference between what Cameron did, and what most are doing with 3D in post production. Why waste your time and money if the audience can't tell the difference? In my opinion Cameron is the fool here who wants to spend all of this time and effort to do something that can be done just as effectively with a fraction the effort. If the difference between Cameron's 3D and post-prod 3D is as Cameron called it 2.8D....and I get to save a few mil, and years of time....give me 2.8D. Even as an audience member I'd rather not wait 3 more years for a Clash of the Titans movie that may or may not be good just so I can see it in some film geek technically true 3D. And as an audience member if Clash of the Titans isn't good, I'm not going to care that they put all that "extra" time and money into it to make the 3D just right if the movie sucks. And if the movie sucks, and the box office take doesn't cover that little "extra"....what happens next? What happens to all that 3D technology? What happens to all of that "extra" when we don't care? NOTHING! It doesn't make a lick of difference if the movie itself isn't good. Cameron's a billionaire fool, who knows how to package a film "product" for a mass audience....but as a film maker, he's average at best. I didn't like Titanic in 2D, so I wouldn't waste my time or money to hate it in another dimension.
  • Colt
    my thoughts exactly #1...this is so dumb.
  • Cameron's not exactly being hypocritical by going and converting Titanic to 3-D despite bashing Clash of the Titans conversion. His criticism of that conversion is because they're doing it in 8 weeks, and he says in order to do it right and make it look really good you need to take your time with the conversion which is why Titanic is being released in 2012 as opposed this this year or even next year.
  • Mony
    I thought he was opposed to just turning any films into 3D, but all of a sudden he will do it to Titanic? Spare me the crap. He is all in it for the money. I don't even like Titanic so won't be watching that anyways.
  • I highly doubt that we could see this extended Avatar in italian theaters...
  • Lucky
    I agree with # 1 post!!!!!
  • @ People's Champ, That was on the weekends. If you follow the link you'll see I'm talking about the weekdays leading up to Alice in Wonderland's March 5th weekend debut. Thanks,
  • Bauzer
    I'm also confused as to why Cameron would say that converting 2D to 3D is stupid, but then do it himself. Is there some magic post production trick we don't quite know about relating to 3D? This is suspicious. On another note, I have never seen the chick flick known as Titanic, and never will regardless of a 3D re-release. :)
  • Baron the Curse
    Very classy. Cameron goes on a rant about improper use of 3D and how the studio is just using it as a "gimmick" and now he tells us a 1997 movie would look great in 3D because... why? Sounds like a money scheme "gimmick" on his part.
  • People's Champ
    Looks like Avatar was only #1 on thursday (by around $20,000) leading up to Alice.
  • DoomCanoe
    I'm so god damn sick of James Cameron its stupid. he went from being a great film maker to being a total prick.
  • Daniel Felts
    There is no God.
  • nipplenuggets
  • werdnafaz
    I agree with Cameron, if you read between the lines what he is saying is that the studios are going to hack n slash some redos together and slap them out with nothaught put into it other than deadline deadline!!!! I dont get it anyway people complain the industrie is suffering... i think im seeing some of te most creative stuff i have seen in years .... are we standing on the shoulders of some predesessors films HELL YEAH! thats evolution baby! I say bring back Marty abnd DOC in 3D as well its time to go again in 3D! Pardon the pun. :-)
  • not paying to see titanic again
    Same as #1 post... Fox just convinced Cameron to do it for the green. Who needs artistic integrity...
  • Tester
    Screw both of these lame movies, please re-release Aliens on the big screen for a limited run.
  • David Banner
    ".....maximum length a movie that can be released in IMAX is 170 minutes...." how about adding all 40mins to IMAX, and inserting this thing called Intermission? I've added a link before, incase americans dont know what the hell this is
  • Bob
    why do negative people gather in forums . is this your only outlet to talk bad about things. u should check this small thing out called a smile
  • moviedude
    I'm so glad Hurt Locker won best picture last week. Not Avatar.
  • rachel replicant
    wow..titanic in 3d..yay..(sarcasm) im so sick of this arrogant fck director..I dont care for his work..yes, aliens and terminator I and II were fun.. but fck... how much blood sucking do you need? All the money in the world doesnt make you any better a director but it does seem to inflate that fkn head of yours! learn to tell a story. Can you shoot a black and white movie with no fx? Can you make a movie with no toys? Can you make a movie with a camcorder and good actors? Thats what I want to know, I dont give a fck that you can make all these slick digital gimicks!
  • John
    As much as I heard that the storyline was rather cliche, I never got the chance to see AVATAR in IMAX. So this is good news for me.
  • Geoff
    Thanks to this movie I can no longer hold Cameron above Lucas...what a pathetic attempt at making more money
  • Danelle Koop
    Whoah, why does everyone hate Cameron so much?! Titanic won so many awards, I can't wait to see it in 3D, it will be quite an experience. Anyways, this guy probably has more money in his pockets then all of you haters.
  • Purple31
    Is it true that there's a 2 & 3 movie of titanic
  • Purple31
    Is it true that there's a 2 & 3 movie of titanic
  • thinkerbell
    yes there is tatanic 2 and is shiiitt and dump . new actors and same story. just slightly different story. He should have made tatanic 2, and there was a fan made video on youtube. everyone loved it...!! big big prob you made. honestly i wouldnt watch it in 3d
  • Jo
    wow you people, have a coffee and lighten up.  can't wait to see the 3d of titanic




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