Monday, December 28, 2009

Avatar the Movie

The Wall Street Journal reports that sci-fi film "Avatar" led the way to Hollywood's biggest US box-office weekend of all time. With a box-office total over the last three days of $278 million, this weekend's films beat the old record of $260.8 million from July of 2008, according to estimates from

James Cameron's 3-D epic "Avatar" took the top slot at the box office over the Christmas Day weekend, bringing in $75 million. Guy Ritchie's action-oriented retooling of "Sherlock Holmes" grabbed second place with $65.4 million. The film set a new record for a Christmas Day opening by grossing $24.9 million on Friday.

In the gaming age, many modern films appear to rely more on computer generated visuals rather than an engaging plot. In "Avatar," James Cameron, the director of "Titanic," presents spectacular imagery, decades after 3-D films made their debut.

I saw the film last week in Kuala Lumpur and while the technology is more impressive than the storyline set in 2154, it has a contemporary theme with a big corporation led by a military commander with a style that would have been admired by President George W. Bush, using "shock and awe" against the forest people on the distant moon Pandora, to secure mineral rights.

The Financial Times' John Gapper said "Avatar" will probably be one of the biggest money-spinners for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, since Cameron's 1997 "Titanic," epic.

Gapper noted that in contrast with Murdoch's conservative slant, that film also had a rather leftist tone, with the poor people stuck in steerage displaying more moral fibre than the rich folks above.