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By David Poland

Box Office Hell – Avatar To Hit $2 Billion This Weekend


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32 Responses to “Box Office Hell – Avatar To Hit $2 Billion This Weekend”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    I think When in Rome will perform toward the high end of expectations. Maybe even better.

  2. LexG says:

    Seriously, who the hell is still going to see “Bore-vatar”? At least at the rate of 30mil every weekend?
    We’re ALL sick of this stupid debate, and I know anecdotal arguments are bullshit and worthless, but I just don’t know anybody who’s THAT fired up over it. Is it making all its money from one-timers who just want to check out the 3D? We’ve seen a few pics of “avatards” or whoever, but it can’t possibly be the same deal as “Titanic” where packs of tween girls were literally seeing it EVERY DAY for weeks on end and worshipping the screen. Who’s THAT fired up about Giovanni Ribisi and Sam Worthington and a bunch of blue people *worshipping a tree* for 17 minutes?
    I liked it fine, actually wouldn’t mind seeing it one more time just for the spectacle of it all (thereby defeating my own argument, heh)… but most lay-people I know and work with either fell asleep, got a headache, or thought it was overlong and boring.
    That said: WHEN IN ROME POWER. TEAM BELL. Love how she’s biting her pinkie in the poster. HOT.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    LexG: They’re going to see Sigourney Weaver. WEAVER POWER. BOW BEFORE HER.

  4. LexG says:

    I’ll put in a vote for Michelle Rodriguez and her awesome rack. Not exactly sure why Jakesully wasn’t ALL over that; With M-ROD on the scene I’d let Lang have the fuck at his Unobtanium then give Rodriguez the bone in her awesome aviators and tanktop.
    But I’ll grant you that Weaver’s gratutious coin-slot panty shots in Alien were pretty riveting when I was 9 or 10 years old.

  5. Geoff says:

    LexG – I’ll give you five reasons to see it again:
    – Sigourney Weaver smoking and looking cool
    – Giovanni Ribisi doing his best Paul Reiser imitation while trying to manipulate a transparent computer screen
    – Jakesully riding the dragon thingy straight along the cliff along Netyri
    – MRod’s great repeated use of the word, “bitch”
    – Stephen Lang in the power-loader with the world’s biggest freakin’ survival knife!
    It’s a movie filled with fanboy moments, certainly more than Titanic.
    Saw Edge of Darkness, today – Mel Gibson’s best and most entertaining film in years, though to be honest, I had not really loved anything he had done since the mid-’90’s. Kick of a movie (Ray Winstone was great, of course, and I never tire of watching Denis O’Hare playing these smarmy put-upon elitist roles) and kind of cool to see Danny Huston evolving into the best perennial villian-for-hire since Gary Oldman. Well done action – kind of a pulpier Michael Clayton, which actually made it more fun.

  6. leahnz says:

    (here’s a thought lex: just because YOU aren’t that keen on something and the three people you talk to aren’t either doesn’t mean the entirely of earth’s civilization shares your personal proclivities. how many more “who is going to see boring old avatar?” posts do you have left in you? four or five down, five to go? just post ’em now all in a row so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself)

  7. LexG says:

    Leah, I am just disappointed that the world would rather see blue people praying to a TREE than something CHARMING and delightful like LEAP YEAR, which will put a smile on your face sure as there’s a sun in the sky. It’s a better and less pretentious movie.
    And I was primed to *love* AVATAR, I waited all year for it, took a day off work and saw it TWO TIMES in its first 72 hours to convince myself of its greatness… it’s not Phantom Menace-disappointment, nor do I have some IO-DZ crusade against it. I guess I should just be happy that people are going to the movies again and liking something (but are they?) instead of forgetting about it by Monday, in this age where this weekend’s big hit is playing the shoebox auditorium at the end of the hall by the following Friday.
    But all I know is next week’s #1 spot GODDAMN BETTER WELL BE FILLED by THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF, and not week 76 of the same movie.

  8. leahnz says:

    sigh, yes, people are liking avatar. the ‘does anyone actually like it?’ dogma – funnily enough espoused by those who DON’T particularly like it -is old and decrepit.
    (i personally don’t know a single person who doesn’t dig avatar, and i’m genuinely shocked how much many of the women i know absolutely ADORE it, so there you go. anecdotal proof that people LOVE avatar and want to have its babies)
    further to nothing, during the discussion of ‘inglorious-terds’ in the other thread what i can’t remember which one it was now, i forgot to mention how that big black fucking poodle sitting at the table during the restaurant scene with landa, goebbels, his interpreter and shosanna in the first act is officially on my all-time list of things that GIVE ME THE CREEPS; i even had a nightmare with that dog in it, i can’t remember what it did now, but nothing good can come of it.
    that huge black poodle sitting at the table like a freakin’ person is the spawn of satan

  9. Leah, you think he spoke to three people?
    I actually know a lot of people who are seeing it for the first time now that school holidays are ending and the crowds aren’t as littered with annoying arseholes.

  10. Hallick says:

    “Giovanni Ribisi doing his best Paul Reiser imitation while trying to manipulate a transparent computer screen”
    Reiser? Hell and No. That’s a straight up Ari Gold act, 1000 percent. It was like Cameron said to himself, “Fuck you, Piven. I paid good money for those ‘Speed The Plow’ tickets and you hid in the crapper puking up Flipper meat! So guess who gets the job now, jerk off!”.

  11. leahnz says:

    lmao hallick
    (three might be a bit of an exaggeration for effect, kam)

  12. LYT says:

    Hate to ruin your day, Lex, but Yellow Handkerchief isn’t opening next week. It’s gonna be like three more weeks.

  13. Foamy Squirrel says:

    One of the things that I’ve seen that goes against IO’s argument that Avatar is “for people who’ve never seen a 3D or CGI movie before” is the number of comments from younger gamers claiming that it’s ‘their’ Star Wars.
    It may be reaching a really wide audience (and I’ve got friends – BOTH of them! – who are only getting around to seeing it now), but it’s also hitting the younger, gamer, tech-savvy group really hard because it “gets” them even though they’ve seen similar things before.
    Whether this is translating into gaggles of teens going in for repeat viewings, I don’t know.

  14. LexG says:


  15. leahnz says:


  16. Stella's Boy says:

    Here is my completely anecdotal Avatar evidence. I saw it for the first time last night. The theater was about 90% full at a 6:20 showing. 90% of the audience was women 50 and over, in groups of 3 and 4 (incidentally they talked through the whole thing). So take that for what it’s worth.

  17. BOisasBOdoes says:

    When I was twelve I used to draw mini-comics for my friends that featured Sigourney Weaver having sex with the Aliens, plowing their big black cocks (they don’t show alien dick in the flicks – a real crime IMHO – but I was a H.R fan back then so I had the inside scoop).

  18. BOisasBOdoes says:

    However, they do show alien cock in Species 2. Anyone catch that one?

  19. Nicol D says:

    “…is the number of comments from younger gamers claiming that it’s ‘their’ Star Wars.”
    Which means nothing. We will only know if it is their Star Wars in 30 years if they are still clamouring for it. Right now, Avatar is a pop fad movie being being sold as a must see once in a life time technological exeperience.
    And if the gamers are the ones saying it is their Star Wars then why are they not buying the game?
    But I have never debated Avatar’s success. What I debate is that it is a cultural phenom that is loved as opposed to a Rubik’s Cube type fad.
    Again…and I will never bore of this…where are the ancillary products? When Star Wars was out we clamoured for action figures, books, soundtracks, comics, toys, bedsheets, costumes etc. The movie was not enough. We wanted constant immersion in the world of Vader and Skywalker. Too many of us are just not seeing that with the ‘tard.
    None of that is happening with this film. That is why we are still debating its success. If it was that settled…we would not.
    Last week I read it will make its tv debut in 2012 on the FX network. No networks wanted to pay the price saying by then it will have already played out in ancillary markets and would not be worth the price. To me…that reads fad. Titanic had a major network screening.
    Major channels still show Sound of Music for crying out loud.
    Are many people loving the ‘tard. Sure. But a hell of a lot are not. ‘tard 2 will be nowhere near as close.

  20. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “And if the gamers are the ones saying it is their Star Wars then why are they not buying the game?”
    Well, they’re not buying the Star Wars games either. 😉
    It’s been mentioned in other threads, ancillary isn’t everything – for whatever reason, some franchises lend themselves more to licensed products than others. I’ve mentioned before that The Matrix ancillary products failed miserably, so cultural phenomenons are not homogeneous. Who knows, maybe Fox’s demands to licensees may be preventing new products entering the market – Hasbro pays a mere $25k per year for the Star Wars license. That would also explain the reluctance for networks to pay for tv rights (although the obvious flaw with that argument is the internal market with Fox).
    This is pure speculation though – my personal opinion is that it’s not going to hold up as well in the long run due to not being able to replicate the experience out of the theatres. But I’ve been known to be wrong before. 😉

  21. torpid bunny says:

    “When Star Wars was out we clamoured for action figures, books, soundtracks, comics, toys, bedsheets, costumes etc. The movie was not enough. We wanted constant immersion in the world of Vader and Skywalker.”
    I’m totally shocked to discover that Nicol is some kind of mega-dork.

  22. Dr Wally says:

    “And if the gamers are the ones saying it is their Star Wars then why are they not buying the game?”
    The Avatar game pretty much sucks, although it is Steroscopic-enabled, so it might be worth a second look when the 3-D wave of TV’s hit. Oh, and Squirrel, the Battlefront series and Force Unleashed were big-selling Star Wars video games.
    I concur that some of the Avatar phenom is also going a little over my head. I left having seen and enjoyed a good movie, but not thinking that this was a game-changer or a milestone in movie-making or anything like that. The film’s technical breakthroughs may be impressive, but i didn’t get any sense of awe or wonder from the visuals. When i first saw Jurassic Park back in the Summer of ’93, and we got to that scene of the Brachiosaur strolling through the fields, and then the Rex attacking the cars, the whole theater erupted in spontaneous applause. We just knew we were watching not just a good movie, but, in modern parlance, something that was a real ‘game-changer’ in terms of what movies could achieve. Avatar just didn’t give me that same hit.

  23. Foamy Squirrel says:

    “Oh, and Squirrel, the Battlefront series and Force Unleashed were big-selling Star Wars video games.”
    True – Force Unleased is somewhere around #30 on XBox360 games. However, of the 70+ Star Wars SKUs released over the last 5 years less than 30 have sold over half a million copies – which isn’t the greatest track record (usual caveats for variety of studios/wide releases apply). The takeaway I wanted for the original comment is that being a Star Wars game is no guarantee for success – I overreached with my generalization and you rightfully slapped me on the wrist.
    Similarly, for the original post the takeaway I wanted was that a movie resonating with gamers doesn’t always translate to game sales. Matrix failed, Lego Indiana Jones is the only version to break 500k units, the first two Harry Potter games did well but after that they dropped off a cliff – and that’s a HUGE franchise property. There’s not a great connection between movies and games, despite the fairly strong overlap in terms of actual consumers.

  24. Cadavra says:

    Da heck with both HANDKERCHIEF and AVATAR. OSS 177: LOST IN RIO finally got picked up and opens in May!

  25. Chucky in Jersey says:

    @Nicol: FX is a corporate cousin to 20th Century Fox, thus corporate synergy is involved. These days over-the-air TV networks hardly touch theatrical movies.

  26. LYT says:

    Nicol, as I keep telling you, the toys are SELLING OUT at every major retailer near me. I have NEVER seen a Neytiri figure on shelves.
    And I collect toys.

  27. leahnz says:

    the BLACK DEMON, sitting at the table as if it was human (straight from the bowels of hell, and youtube):

  28. The Big Perm says:

    I think maybe what Nicol doesn’t quite realize is, Star Wars was fucking 30 years ago. Times have changed, old man.
    People still love Titanic, was there a video game or bedsheets? Maybe there were, I don’t know. And you didn’t see tons of Matrix toys all over either. You maybe had some spin offs, and obviously it influenced tons of other films and filmmakers…but Avatar is harder to do that since it’s CG so you can’t just throw on some shades and kick at each other and put it on Youtube. Did TDK move that much merchandise? I mean I really don’t know, maybe Nicol has some specific stats to lay on us.

  29. Joe Straat says:

    As Dr. Wally said, the video game sucks, so no surprise it’s not flying off the shelves. Then again, so do about 70% of the Star Wars games. The ones that sell well are generally the ones that get the most hype or get the best reviews, since gaming is one of the most review/Internet oriented hobbies out there. They come out with tens of Star Wars games a year. A couple of them have to be good, right?
    But let’s take this back to the original Trilogy time. They came out with a Empire Strikes Back video game for the Atari. Only ONE of my friends has ever owned it. Then again, I was a baby when that stuff was going down and my friends and I are more the Nintendo Entertainment System generation. Oh yeah, it also worth noting the Empire Strikes Back game sucked on toast.
    There ARE Avatar toys out there. I’ve seenplenty of them. They look fairly nice. I have absolutely no idea how they’re selling, but they are there.
    Not that I’m rushing to Avatar’s defense here. Avatar was a three-and-a-half star movie for me. I had a very good time, but it’s not the greatest anything for me. I’ll let the people who do have their little party, though, and just play me some Mass Effect 2, which suits my needs for epic Sci-Fi excellence. The main storyline may be pulpy space opera stuff, but damned if everything else isn’t pure excellence.

  30. christian says:

    Lex has some points about AVATAR but they are intsantaneously negated by using films like WHEN IN ROME or LEAP YEAR as examples of a superior film. Bonza!

  31. christian says:

    “instantaneously” – it’s early and i haven’t had my sanka. have a heart.

  32. Foamy Squirrel says:

    Smithers, release the hounds!

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4