Friday, September 05, 2008

Avatar Is A $300 Million Movie? Fox To Delay It Again?

Jim here - Last December I said that with the additional post production time that was tacked on to AVATAR (moving it from May to December 2009), the movie's budget HAD to have increased. At that time I predicted $225 million at LEAST.

Well Variety is with me on this one and has gone so far as to say $250-300 million for Avatar. They have also echoed what we already knew - AVATAR is a two and a half hour movie.

It was nice to see Rob Legato mentioned again in the Variety piece - he deserves a lot of credit for the real-time system that Cameron uses. Rob is quoted in the piece: "The photo-real digital film is 20% live-action with humans shot on location and 80% live-action mixed with CG elements. It's a CG film with live-action in it". This seems to up the CG ante. Originally, Cameron had been saying that the CG percentage will run about 60%. Or maybe something got lost in the translation. Either way, December 2009 cannot come soon enough.

Will AVATAR be pushed back yet again into 2010? From the Variety post: "...but several senior execs at rival studios predict that Cameron will persuade Fox to push the movie back, because the prospect of releasing a $300 million movie on 1,500 screens worldwide is too nerve-wracking." That statement is assuming that there will only be 1500 3D screens in North America by December 2009 - no way. There will be much more than that, more likely in the ballpark of 3000 to 4000.

In the end, Fox is gambling on Cameron and to me that seems like a pretty safe bet. And no, I don't think AVATAR will be delayed again. If I get word from my sources I will update ASAP as always...

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