December 17th, 2009
02:46 PM ET

'Avatar' already selling out weekend box offices

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Avatar’s enormous budget may well be worth it. The James Cameron 3D adventure flick, opening tonight at midnight, has already sold out hundreds of showtimes across the country, according to online ticket-seller Fandango.

The fantasy film, which has received mixed early reviews is besting this summer’s science fiction favorite “Star Trek” in advance sales.

According to a survey of ticket buyers conducted by the website, 70% of folks claim they don’t care about the film’s reported $300 million budget.

A bold 37% of the men surveyed said they plan to take a date with them to see the movie this weekend. Good luck to them.

Early interest in the film has skewed significantly towards a male audience. On Wednesday, MovieTickets.com said that 78% of "Avatar" advance ticket buyers were male, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Seeing “Avatar?” Share your review, photos and video on iReport.

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soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Mrs Jay

    My husband dragged me to the preview screening in Imax about 3 months ago. I fell asleep in the 15 minute pre-screen so I knew I would not be interested in seeing the movie. Since the preview, I have been forced to watch every single interview of the actors. In addition he has found every single Avatar movie trailer/commercial on my TiVO recording of my favorite TV shows... he's so obsessed he's made a DVD of all the trailers. (WHAT A GEEK!) While I think the advances in technology and film making are breaking new ground, I just don't have an interest to look at a faux world in blue. Regardless of how "real" it looks to many people, it doesn't look real to me.

    So my husband went to the movie with his mom. She got motion sickness. I'm glad I didn't go because I have extreme motion sickness. I would have been miserable for 3 hours! Plus I am unable to sit still through 3 hours, I need to hit "pause" and take bathroom breaks/get a snack etc. I'm glad people are enjoying the movie, but I will wait for DVD or On Demand.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. brynmarie

    "A bold 37% of the men surveyed said they plan to take a date with them to see the movie this weekend. Good luck to them."

    What do you mean? I'm a girl and I LOVED the movie. The performance-capture finally does a good job of portraying real emotion. So, if you want to stereotype maybe that's the angle you go with instead – girls will like the emotion, so take a date. Or just plain go because it's an incredibly wonderful movie.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. topman

    Avatar suck big time, too much hype and boring.

    December 21, 2009 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Agent

    Awesome Movie... if you want to get away on a wild ride and be visually blown away. Check it out!

    December 20, 2009 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. David MacDougall

    Even throogh it is Dancing with Wolves in Smurfland this was SPECTACULAR, jaw dropping effects, should not be missed by anyone. BUT, make sure you see it in 3D. some are saying there is no difference. obviously 3D was not working where they saw it.

    December 20, 2009 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. ranjit

    I have just seen the movie...Technically this is the best movie ever to be made.

    December 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Victor

    I have a tremendous respect for James Cameron. He takes his time to make "quality" films, not "assembly-line garbage." His films, "The Abyss," "True Lies," "Aliens," "Titanic," and "Terminator 2:Judgement Day," remain amongst my all-time favorite films. Judging by the profits made from those films, I think a few others agree. As far as complaining about how much it cost, why don't you direct that anger to the government which squanders more tax-payer money than any private company? Ask them why they spend our tax dollars on wars in countries that are unwinable, on research projects studing bird pattern migrations, and toilet seats that cost five thousand dollars?! Kudos to Cameron and I will see his film tommorow morning and I'm sure I won't be dissapointed.

    December 18, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    I have tickets for Saturday night and we're expecting a major snowstorm here in the east. But I will be attending no matter what the weather.

    December 18, 2009 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. John Dowe

    Firstly, thank you Jay for your reasoned response to Amanda. Why people don't understand how steady employment on significant film projects are needed, vital, and feed families mystifies me. About the film: A visual experience the likes moviegoers have never before seen, or even fully imagined. It's that good.

    December 18, 2009 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Amanda, if you're going to get turned off by a movies budget, I suggest you don't do the research on the film industry. While I think this is the most expensive film ever – plenty of films cost well over $100-200 million to make. And though it may seem like they're just throwing money out the window, anyone who has sat through end credits know thousands of people are involved in making a film, in the case of a movie like Avatar that number is nearly doubled. They might waste too much advertising a film (I wouldn't say so in this case, but definitely Star Trek and Transformers 2 did earlier this year – but they made their money back so what do I know), but to relate the money spent and compare it to poverty and the economy is completely pointless and ridiculous. It's a business, money spent becomes money earned plain and simple.

    December 18, 2009 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brett

    If you can't feed the kids, quit having more of them! It's not societies obligation to pay for your irresponsible mistakes.
    as for the movie, can't wait to see it! if its as good as they say, who cares what it costs, it will make it back and then some!

    December 18, 2009 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Blake

    I had to see New Moon with her so she has to see this with me and like it!

    December 18, 2009 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    James Cameron has always pushed the horizon of film making. His budgets are only indicative of his innovation to bring the world state-of-the-art entertainment. He doesn't just do his best with what's technologically available; he re-invents the wheel each time he makes another film. Movies will never be the same... thanks to Cameron.
    And to aMANDA's comment "$300 million on a sci-fi film? Really? Wow.....starving people in the world, people trying to go to college, single parent homes, war etc and $300 mil was spent on a movie.....with .....blue..people? Just sayn'." I just say that without uplifting diversion, those social problems would still be our reality. It's music, film, and television which make those unpleasantries tolerable.
    Our government spends more than $300M per year trying to put dying patients in prison for smoking a non-lethal plant. Clearly, our country's fiscal priorities are screwed up...

    December 18, 2009 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew Downing

    All the people complaining about how much this movie cost and how the ills of the world could have been solved if only we spent the 300 million on healthcare, or homeless people, or kids going to college...This was 300 million dollars spent in the United States. It's not like the money goes into a black hole and is lost forever, I agree with Jay, this is 300 million that was spent on companies and people in the US to make this movie (ie job creation). Ultimatley in the long run spending that kind of money helps the economy, not to mention the fact that americans will spend another 170 Million domesitcally to go the the theater to see it, then most likely another 25 million on DVD/Blu ray, and merchandise, toys, ect. This isn't even factoring the international sales. Come on people, the government didn't pay to make this movie, the funding comes from private investors who get returns.

    December 18, 2009 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Doug

    $300 million is not thrown down the drain or burned. That puts people to work paying taxes, provides health care, etc. Ask the people who worked on this film if they think that 300 million was poorly spent.

    December 18, 2009 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  16. mark

    mixed? there are not many bad reviews out there, and they all say "wow" and conclude it is a must see anyway. It is no wonder that it is selling out.

    December 18, 2009 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  17. Kenneth

    So what's wrong with bringing a date to a James Cameron movie? Titanic, hello?

    December 18, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  18. Judith

    Any truth to the comment 'that people are getting sick" from watching this movie? What kind of illness are we talking about?

    December 18, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  19. smoothsilk123987

    Ohhhhh.... FYI, Avatar IS the BEST MOVIE EVER. See it on IMAX with 3D goggles and be mesmerized and beamed into a surreal real of wonderment and amazement. Simple plot? Simple, when surrounded with superb adds up to great! Avatar is going to win the best picture of 2009 because it is beautiful, romantic, and amazing.

    December 18, 2009 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  20. Noel Omware

    Impressive CGI.Though when I first heard of it,I thought it was AVATAR* the last air bender.Cool stuff anyway,but I think with the current pace of software and hardware advancement,we will be witnessing some very real-like graphics in the very near future.Just saying...

    December 18, 2009 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  21. Dominque

    Blue people 100 million
    flying dino birds 100 million
    and human Robots for 100 million.

    The pleasure we attain from this movie is price less

    December 18, 2009 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  22. Debra R

    Rather see real people acting.....

    December 18, 2009 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  23. pdb

    I would only hope that people would walk away with a message or theme from this movie and that it could actually help us to become more sentient in our treatment of other cultures.
    Does it turn out in the end that these blue people are just big blue monkeys? I hope Science Fiction can help some people see another side in life. Otherwise, we are just lifeless drones looking for a night's entertainment.
    I am a female sci-fi geek. and I want our world to be a better place because of it. Is that too much to ask?

    December 18, 2009 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  24. Zaw Htoo Aung

    Watching Avatar in 3D is like OMG! movie moment..Avatar is amazing.. James Cameron is the king!!
    Ethan from Sydney, Australia

    December 18, 2009 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  25. ray ray

    im speechless ..its so good plan on watching it again this weekend. horaa

    December 18, 2009 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  26. Adam

    Incredible – seeing this movie in 3D, for me, was an experience much like what the audience of the first ever motion picture must have felt like. At times I couldn't believe my eyes, and I was begging for more and more.

    December 18, 2009 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  27. Shelar

    I'm female and I've been looking forward to seeing this movie for over a year. James Cameron has written or directed (or both) some of my all time favorite movies, there's no way I'd miss this one!

    December 18, 2009 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  28. Jacob

    Amanda that $300 million will most likely turn into $600 million or more.

    December 18, 2009 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  29. Ross

    Wow!!!! One of the best movies ever. It was amazing!

    December 18, 2009 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  30. Ted

    Another over hyped film! Amazing visuals but that is all, there is simply no story! Not sure how it is selling places out, most theaters in the St. Louis area have tons of tickets, no one seems to really care about this film except fanboys of jmmy cameron.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  31. Jay

    Amanda, Think it through: 300 Million on a Sci-Fi film means Cameron employed 3000 people for 4 years. THEY fed the kids and sent them to school.

    Just sayin'

    December 18, 2009 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  32. hemanth reddy

    best movie ever and may be best movie for ever. Dont miss it .

    December 18, 2009 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  33. will

    Really...so far it's got an 84% in favorable reviews. That's three times better than the new Twilight New Moon movie which you keep covering. Come on!

    December 17, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Debbie

    Sales percentages or not, there are a lot of us female sf/fantasy geeks out here. I can't wait to see this movie; maybe the women are just willing to wait for the weekend.

    December 17, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  35. aMANDA

    $300 million on a sci-fi film? Really? Wow.....starving people in the world, people trying to go to college, single parent homes, war etc and $300 mil was spent on a movie.....with .....blue..people?
    Just sayn'.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Bryan

    3D OLED TV's can't get here fast enough. I'm seeing a midnight show tonight.

    December 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Chris

    "The fantasy film, which has received mixed early reviews is besting this summer’s science fiction favorite “Star Trek” in advance sales."

    I wouldn't consider an 80 +% favorable rating as a mixed review.

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/avatar/

    December 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |

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