The Blockbuster Won’t Die: James Cameron And His Plans To Keep ‘Avatar’ Relevant, As Well As Calm The 3-D Craze
Tim Burton‘s 3-D epic, Alice In Wonderland, is in its third week of box office glory, much to James Cameron‘s chagrin. The writer/director was enjoying a monopoly in Imax theaters and on 3-D screens across the country before Alice waltzed into town. With the help of the higher 3-D ticket prices, Avatar enjoyed multiple weeks at the top of the box office and became the highest grossing film of all time, not adjusted for inflation. Now it’s #8 on the chart and, with a slew of upcoming 3-D blockbusters like How To Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans, it will only go down.
Cameron makes no bones about his disappointment at Avatar being booted out by newer pics, telling USA Today:
The wildcard is that we might be re-releasing the movie this fall. It’s kind of gotten stomped out (in theatres since the release) of Alice in Wonderland. The word we’re getting back from exhibitors is we probably left a couple of hundred million dollars on the table as a result. The question is the appetite still going to be there after the summer glut of movies. We’re going to assess that. We’re talking about maybe adding in additional footage and doing something creative.
Add more footage to an already 160 minute film? We’ll see how that goes. Cameron’s also planning to cross promote the DVD’s release with Earth Day. Both land on the 22nd of April. He says:
Earth Day Network’s commitment and actions to promote a healthy, sustainable planet go hand-in-hand with the themes of Avatar.
You can’t argue that Cameron’s a marketing genius. He’s the only man who could convince you that watching TV is a “green” activity. The writer/director is also urging filmmakers to use 3-D sparingly, so that the multiplexes aren’t overcrowded with 3-D pics (in other words: lesser pics that steal the thunder from films like Avatar). It’s a mess that he helped create. Because of the overwhelming success of Avatar, studios are rushing to convert films into 3-D — films that were actually intended to be shown in 2-D from their inceptions. That’s exactly how Clash of the Titans went down. Cameron tells Deadline Hollywood:
Now, you’ve got people quickly converting movies from 2D to 3D, which is not what we did. They’re expecting the same result, when in fact they will probably work against the adoption of 3D because they’ll be putting out an inferior product.
Michael Bay, who most recently directed Transformers 2 and is being pressured to release the third one in 3-D, agrees with Cameron, saying:
I shoot complicated stuff, I put real elements into action scenes and honestly, I am not sold right now on the conversion process.
If Bay and Cameron get their way, then maybe this current 3-D craze will calm down and each film that is actually meant to be in 3-D will get its fair shake at the box office. If not, then theater owners will have to make room for a lot more 3-D screens.