Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar 3D, does with 3D - in IMAX

There are 2100 Avatar 3D locations, which is more than half of the theaters Avatar is playing in. Cameron is taking a bigger risk with 3D than anyone before him, as he's counting on it to make or break his box office success. For the moment, Avatar 3D locations are paying off for him, and may propel the film to a bigger opening weekend than expected. Over 2100 Avatar 3D locations stood to be packed yesterday, as the movie finally showed its groundbreaking technology. Early estimates indicate that it paid off to $27 million on opening day, according to the Associated Press. But as it turns out, Northeast storms may do more to hurt the opening weekend than finding 3D theaters. However, a $75-80 million weekend is still projected.

Those numbers are bigger than expected, but not a huge shock. The true test is whether audiences will go back to the 3D locations and see Pandora again and again, like with Titanic. Cameron refined the format to literally take viewers to a new world, and if he makes people take multiple trips, then the sky is the limit for 3D. Imitators would then be lined up to recreate, and improve, on Avatar's achievements. Given what Cameron does with 3D - in IMAX, Digital or otherwise - audiences may only want to see Avatar in those select locations. To see it in regular 2D may be a disappointment - which could come back to haunt Cameron later. Given the complaints about the story and dialogue, 3D may be the only way in which Avatar works at all - so hopefully, Cameron includes glasses with the DVD.

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