January 26th, 2010
04:23 PM ET

'Avatar' tops 'Titanic' with $1.859 billion at the box office

testing captions
testing captions

The studio behind the record-breaking box office hit “Avatar” attributes the film’s enormous success to moviegoers embracing director James Cameron’s message of respect for life and a hope for a peaceful planet.

“Its success results from the efforts of literally thousands of people, who over the course of several years worked to bring James Cameron’s vision of Pandora to life. The themes of protecting the environment, respecting life, and yearning for a peaceful planet have united moviegoers worldwide,” said 20th Century Fox spokesperson Natalie Johnson in a statement.

“Avatar” is now the highest-grossing movie of all time. James Cameron’s 3-D epic adventure eclipsed worldwide box office sales of the previous top-selling flick, Cameron's “Titanic,” on Monday, making $1.859 billion at the box office compared to “Titanic’s” $1.843 billion. The difference between the two? A mere $16 million. And “Avatar” will only continue to bring in cash. The film has only been in theaters for 6 weeks.

“Titanic,” a love story set aboard the ill-fated luxury liner, also directed by Cameron, held onto the record for 13 years. Prior to that, the all-time box office champs included "E.T." and "Star Wars."

Post by: ,
Filed under: movies

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. wedding decorations

    Thanks for the original content! I've been looking for something like this for a while! Cheers!

    February 12, 2013 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Eli Ally

    i like fiesty girls and michelle rodriguez is a really fiesty girl that i love to marry ;.~

    December 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. David Begum

    michelle rodriguez is a bad ass woman, i like her tough woman personality'"*

    September 12, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ethan Thompson

    i love feisty girls like michelle rodriguez, beautiful woman with lots of action.'.;

    July 26, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. amanda

    Why is the info on movies based on dollars and not HOW MANY tickets were sold. I ask because in my mom's lifetime, movies went from a nickel to over $9 each in some cities. Seems to me the more accurate way to judge a movie would be how many people actually saw it an not how much money it brought in.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AndyTheGameIventor

    The movie itself was very enjoyable to watch – at the heart of it, that's what makes a good movie.

    My fiancee is half Native American and when we saw the film together I thought she would find it offensive because the Navi are very very thinly disguised Native Americans (or Native Australians) but she liked it as a form of escapism since, in her words, "for once we won."

    Any new film will raise the bar for special effects, but I don't think Avatar was as groundbreaking (meaning the amount by which it raised the bar) as either Star Wars or Jurassic Park. I also think LOTR created a more compelling world.

    I did find the characters (especially the mercenaries) highly plastic and the plot quite predictable – but that's not what this film was about. Cameron did create a beautiful immersive world with likeable characters and so the result was very enjoyable.

    Now a note to those who found the film "anti-religious". Grow up! The film was quite religious, just not YOUR religion. It's insulting to suggest that faiths (ALL of which, including mine, are not supported by scientific explanations) not based on our norm of monotheistic worship are any less valid than your or mine.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mirror

    I liked the movie, but it was basically a sci-fi version of Pocohontas, except that the "invaders" were sent home to re-group for the sequel.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gotcha Pegged

    PeteZ....you're freakin' hilarious!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gotcha Pegged

    The movie was ok, but it reminded me of a live action cartoon....the Smurfs come to mind...except they are 7 ft tall Smurfs and Gargamel has hi-tech, killing machines instead of a cat.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PeteZ

    Oh my god, the movie Avatar has become another subject for conservatives and liberals to wage Jihad on each other!

    January 27, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kumar

    In actual sense, Avatar still lags behind Titanic if inflation and ticket prices taken into account, not to mention the currency rates adjustment for interntational revenue. Studios want new reocords all the time to create hype for its products line up. They knew that higher revenue do not mean the records are broken (when adjusted for inflation) but just want to be in the news for publicity.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cindy

    Though I'm an avid moviegoer, I had NOT originally planned to see Avatar until a coworker organized a "movie night" to see it. Loved it and saw it again 3 days later! Amazing visuals! I was sucked into it in the opening minutes like I was for the terrific underwater opening scenes of Titanic. Say what you like, Cameron sweats the details This is the next generation "Star Wars" and will change the way people expect to see films. Need I remind everyone how campy the acting was in the Star Wars films and terrible those scripts were. Zoe Saldana brings powerful emotion to her blue character. Yes Avatar is a story that has been told many times, many ways: it's timeless. That said, I think the reason the Roman Catholic church in particular dislikes the film is because of fears it may promote worship of nature itself rather than God who made it. Also, it centers on a culture that is grounded in belief in a feminine deity. But, please don't label all Christians as narrow-minded. We know how to think for ourselves and enjoy life too.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Susan

    How is this movie so "concerned with the preservation of life" when the end scene of massacre and murder lasts almost 7 full minutes? So, it's okay then to destroy people with a vengeance if it will further the suspense in a movie (which, incidentally, did not acheive that effect as from the very beginning you KNOW the new guy will get the girl from the incumbent Ruler and you KNOW the new guy will beat the aggressive intruder). Predictable, over-done, good graphics, but please-give us something innovative next time.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SiFi Guy

    I conducted an un-scientific survey of 20 of my friends and family that saw this movie because I was curious to know if it followed any demographic and/or political lines. Out of 20 individuals surveyed, 8 republicans, 3 independents, and 9 democrats. 6 of the republicans and 2 independents are “blue-collar”, the rest are middle-management & college grads., and all of the democrats are college grads. and have rather creative jobs and are more “free-thinking” their republican friends.

    So the results: All the republicans gave the movie two thumbs down for the story, acting, underlying message. Mostly they said that it was all re-hashed propaganda about “save the earth” and the military is “evil” (3 of them made remarks about it being “left-wing propaganda, just like Al Gore’s movie “An Incontinent Truth”). While the democrats gave it two thumbs up for the story, acting and the underlying message. 1 independent sided with the republicans, and 2 with the democrats.

    Conclusions: Absolutely no surprises here! Anyone who knows anything about society and people (and a bit of psychology) could have predicted these results. Yes, 20 people is a very, very small group, but I don’t have the time or resources to expand. So go conduct your own survey if you care to.

    I love science fiction, so I think it’s one of the best movies ever made.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chad

    I remember when movies had actors in them. And makeup. And sets.

    Now they're nothing but computer games.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Penny

    I have no desire to see this movie. Blue alien-like creatures better than humans? Why such an anti-human message? And if James Cameron really loved the planet so much, why doesn't he donate most of his proceeds from the film to helping the planet? He's way to full of himself – not appealing. Don't understand the big popularity of this film...

    January 27, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Scott Jackson

    I enjoyed your post Brendan, although I would argue what made Empire Strikes Back the best of the Star Wars flicks, was the complete lack of predictability...

    January 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Guest1234

    How was Titanic not predictable? Anybody who didn't know the titanic was going to sink before the the movie should be shot. I knew what was going to happen in titanic and yet I havent seen anyone bash titanic yet. Pocahantas was also predictable. Every movie is predictable if are educated.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Brendan

    I have to agree with the all the contrarians out there who's single negative point about this film is that it's predictable. Predictability always makes for horrible movies like Star Wars (all 6), Titanic, Lord of the Rings (all 3), Gladiator, Ratatouille, Schindler's List, Raging Bull, Finding Nemo, Goodfellas, Blade Runner, all the Bourne movies... and so many others.


    January 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Scott Jackson

    To those who say, this movie is predictable Titanic was better...you really have to think before you speak. If you didn't like this one, that's fine, if you liked Titanic, that's fine, but to claim that Titanic was better because of a movie's predictability...ludicrous, and that has nothing to do with the ship. It has to do with a fairly rich young woman not loving the rich suitor and instead going for the poor but charming other man...yea that was a fresh storyline.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Scott Jackson

    Gross revenue, is exactly that, just how much the movie is made. Elsewhere you can find lists of movies which sold the most tickets, or lists of gross revenue with adjustments for inflation. I believe the hightest ticket selling movie is still Gone With the Wind.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  22. JimmyV

    I don't really understand how people say the story is basic and predictable and some say Titanic was better. I knew the boat was going to sink and I hope everyone else did as well. With that being said I felt the movie was outstanding and I have seen it 4 times.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  23. JL

    A nice well done modern 3D version of Disney's Pocahantas with a little Dances with Wolves,thrown in. We saw it in IMAX, the effects were excellent. It was the effects and the technolgy more then the storyline that really makes this movie awesome.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  24. mike

    Okay everyone get a life, its just a movie nothing more.
    James cameron did it for one reason to make money. I wont spend a dime on it.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Tom

    I think Avatar is number one because of the special effects, including 3-D. While the message of protecting the environment and world peace is a big part of the movie, I keept asking myself "how did they do that" when watching the many motion scenes of the movie.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  26. In NC

    I'm a bit annoyed by the fact that some people seem to think that because a person does not like this movie that he or she is closed minded or "ultra-Conservative." To me, the people who believe they are so much more enlightened than others are the ones who tend to be the most egotistical and closed minded.

    At any rate, I did enjoy the movie; however, it is not the best movie of all time, in my opinion. The storyline and acting were medicore, even though the storyline did have a good message. Visually, it is unreal. Cameron is truly a visionary and a genius. I loved watching this in the theater, in 3-D. I just cannot imagine watching it on my t.v. at home, though. Without the big screen and all the flash, it just doesn't seem like it'd be as intriguing. I think back to movies like Casablanca, which is one of my favorites. It is a movie that has definitely withstood the test of time and only became more popular over the years. There was no flash or CGI or special imaging. It's a movie with an amazing storyline that is made terrific by excellent actors. Casablanca is one of the greatest movies of all time, easily (maybe not number one but I think AFI has it at around four or five). Avatar will be a movie that will be watched for many years to come as well, but I don't think it will hold the title as one of the greats.

    I agree with a lot of people on here: The movie should be viewed as an entertainment piece. If you go in expecting a great cinematic piece that the award voters tend to love, then you're gonig to be disappointed. It is a movie with unreal visuals and lots of entertainment value.

    Overall, I think everyone should see it at least once and just enjoy a good experience at the movies.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  27. J. Carlos Q.

    I saw the movie a few weeks back, not in 3-D mind you, I live in a small village 🙂 and it was great! I'm a hard critic when it comes to movies, cause i'm meticulus when it comes to details. This movie was what is expected from James Cameron.
    The acting is good, the facial expresions on the faces of the animations was ...wow, and the fictional planet was amazing. I haven't had the will to see it again in 3D, but I very much like to.
    Much of the movie storyline is predictable, you know what's going to happen minutes before it does (although there were a few surprises I didn't expect), I was saying some of the character lines a second or two before they were (which my brother hates that I can). Overall the movie does its job. That job being, rapturing you from your seat and submurging you into the story, building emotions inside of you toward the fictional characters. I'm not saying the crowds were in tears, and no where near to the point where crazy people are trying to commit suicide or are deeply depressed (as previously reported by CNN), but there was definitely a sense of empathy.
    In my scoreboard, it's was a great movie for many reasons.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  28. rontianjin

    Great movie, saw it 10 times and will see more. I thought Zoe' Zandalas acting was great and she should be nominated for acadamy award.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Wulf

    LOL I love haters... they are so fun to play with...Hey for the record, i work in the movies, and I'll tell you that the actually 10% of the profits of the tickets goes to the theater, and yes, it's also the reason the food is so high...And to the haters of Avatar, get a life if you can't make a movie, you have no room to talk about Cameron's work....Judge not unless you can do the same thing he has done...

    January 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Helena

    Beautiful film with very positive moral messages, a beautiful love story and so much more. My family & I have seen it twice and will see it again & again as a reminder that love can prevail over hate & ignorance if we all work together peacefully.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  31. hammondrofWI

    Seeing it this weekend, can't wait!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Major Woody

    Avatar? Never heard of it.... it can't be better than "The Foot Fist Way"!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Julius

    I watched this movie in a 3D environment together with my girlfriend and its really a good movie.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  34. Steve

    Sharla – very good point. Tickets were so much more expensive for this, compared to other movies now, let alone 1997 price tickets. I wonder if the record adjusts for inflation.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  35. Andre

    This does not reflect INFLATION! Adjusted for inflation Titanic is 6th...GONE WITH THE WIND IS #1. Avatar will likely surpass Titanic in a few months after inflation but will struggle with surpassing Gone With The Wind.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  36. Tracy

    Avatar is a C- yawner story with A+ visual effects.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  37. Wronggg

    adjusted for inflation – Avatar ranks like 26 see boxofficemojo.com

    That's domestic gross. Not worldwide.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  38. Kate M

    I saw Avatar this week and thought the plot was very basic, but pleasant and familiar. Almost comforting in their Bad Guys vs. Good Guys, with Good Guys winning in the end formula. The special effects were off the chart!

    BTW, people, for those of you who keep referring to this as CGI...you can stop now. This is NOT CGI. CGI stands for "Computer Generated Image"...meaning a 100% computer generated entity.

    This is totally new technology wherein the cast member truly acts every single scene, wearing a special suit that replaces their exterior as a Na'vi character. The suit captures all physical and facial movements of the cast member, which is why their physical and facial movements seem so real. They ARE real. When someone shoots an arrow, that cast member was actually shooting an arrow. Pretty cool, if you ask me!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  39. Lucien Alexandre Marion

    AVATAR....Amazing,,,just like the battery...it keeps going...going...going.

    January 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  40. Really

    Dances with Wolves... The Last Samurai... Yes, let's have another white man learn the ways of the natives in a couple of days and be better than them in every way!! If we could only have a whole army of these white men... Wait – that's what they're fighting!! Hmmm – something doesn't make sense?

    While the special effects were good, the movie was no more than big blue Ewoks running amok!! This movie really was little more than the endor part of Return of the Jedi, but instead of little people in teddy bear costumes, we have CG blue people... Still preposterous and completely unrealistic. Sticks and stones vs Heavy Artillery?? C'mon!! As Rodney said in Back to School – let's build it in Fantasy Land!! I hope that M. Night learns that all he needs is to add a little 3-D CG to Lady in the Water!

    I do think that we should all just move to this amazing fantasy land where rocks defy all laws of physics and float in the air, but ONLY on the "magical" part of the moon!! Wait a minute – did Harry Potter use his wand on those rocks?? Dang I bet he could really use a banshee instead of a broomstick for quidditch!!

    January 27, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  41. DrDawn

    When calculating these numbers, was inflation taken into account?

    January 27, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  42. wait for the next one!!

    People on here are complaining that Avatar has a predictable story line. Ok, well, what do you say about Titanic? Everyone who went to that movie knew EXACTLY what was going to happen to the ship. But, it still has been the top grosser for the past 13 years! How cool is that??? i mean, everyone knew the storyline before they ever stepped foot in the theater. Yet, it still made over a billion bux!!! And has only just been out done!!! Whether predictable or not, Avatar is an amazing film. Well done!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And anyway, I dont think the next in the series will be that predictable. i think that this one had to be predictable in some respect to start to tell the story. I believe that the movies to follow this one will be less predictable and will go more into the Na'vi storyline and we will fall even MORE in love with this movie!

    I have seen this movie three times so far, twice in Digital 3D and once in 2D. Either way, the visuals are STUNNING. i have to admit though, that the glasses at our theater are sort of tinted i think and make the movie appear a little darker, so in that respect, i LOVED the 2D version because the colors were so in your face amazing. But, i LOVE LOVE LOVED the 3D experience as well because it was as if i was there and not at some cheezy 3D movie. Totally amazing work by Cameron!!! I give it two thumbs up!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  43. Lee

    Got some news for Natalie Johnson. People like this because the 3D quality is so amazing, the fan fare has far less to do with "The themes of protecting the environment, respecting life, and yearning for a peaceful planet have united moviegoers worldwide,”

    January 27, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  44. hal

    I saw Avatar a couple decades ago when it was titled, "Dances With Wolves". It definently does not deserve to be called the best movie ever. Lame plot with good FX. Also Sigourneys character was really annoying and looked studpid in avatar form. C-

    January 27, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  45. Buddy

    Wow! All I have to say is this movie must be doing something because look at all the comments after just one article about how successful it has been. I really enjoyed this movie and how it made me feel about life. We need to be inspired at times and this movie really did that. I only hope that the people who felt the way I did hold on to that feeling that things need to change and don't wait for another movie to make us feel that way again. We are messing up big time in our world. We need to do something about it. Even just helping out the person next door is a start. People need to connect to each other more. The movie may not have had the same effect without all the effects, but a movie should be judged as a whole and as a whole it was beautiful and inspiring.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  46. lindsey

    i havent seen the moviee it looks so stupid lol

    January 27, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  47. lindsey

    weee i love my mommy 🙂

    January 27, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  48. Jeff

    New movies are always going to top older movies because of new ticket prices. Why can't they have a more reliable system, say....the number of tickets sold?

    January 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  49. Wulf

    You know to all the people tha tloved the movie, I'm glad that you liked it.. to all that didn't, I'd like to see you stop being critics and make a movie of your own... You think it's so easy to bring a vision to a screen? Let's see if you can do any better than this movie...It's easy to talk trash when you don't have to back it up.. go back to your basements in your mom's house, watch hours of porn, and get on with that pathetic thing you call a life...

    January 27, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  50. Travis

    The marine was the hero. The private contractors were the villains.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  51. HoustonSteve

    I have seen this movie twice and plan to go a third time. Its easily the best movie I've seen this decade, if not ever. BUT.... not because of its environmental message. People are seeing this movie because of its awesome special effects and engaging story. I'm not going to drop 15 bucks on a pop to go to a movie three times because I like the environmental message. Give me a break!

    January 27, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  52. Dave

    they'll let me post on this stupid topic but not one of importance like the rough-n-tumble issues going on in the far east where all they can make is guns, sand, and little terrorists...oh well

    January 27, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  53. Scott

    Brian in Minnesota. It is very clear that Col. Quaritch is a Capt. Ahab, obsessed with hunting his white whale(the Na'Vi). He convinced his soldiers that the Na'Vi were very dangerous and needed to be dealt with. The soldiers attacked the Na'Vi based on his lies.

    Furthermore, being a Marine dose not exclude a human from committing horrible acts, such as Lee Harvey Ozwald, an ex-marine who assassinated President Kennedy. That said, I thought Jake Sully and Trudy Chacon(the pilot) demonstrated the kind of courage and ideals held in the highest regard by the U.S. Marine Corps. They saw through the lies, took initiative, and kicked some butt. What could be more American?

    January 27, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  54. Dr Linga Prasad

    Shaolin Soccer the best movie ever made – #1

    January 27, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  55. Tino

    Oh my goodness, I have a crush on Neytiri. Where is MY Avatar?

    January 27, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  56. Johnny

    There are some movies I can watch again and again. This isn't one of them. Seeing it once is enough.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  57. NoTrolls

    Here is how this whole comment section worked out:

    Avatards claim Avatar as the best movie of all time

    Ignorant haters attack every aspect of the movie. Some go far enough to state outright stupid lies (such as Cameron has always been writing good dialogue until Avatar) that just make them look worse than the extremist Avatards.
    And Scientology being similar to the Avatar movement? Oh please. You just get the hell out of here.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  58. Johnny

    Interesting scenery anxd setting but that's about it. The story line is a bit hokey – Pocahontas mixed with "a man called horse" type theme. As for saving the planet – that it won't do. Population reduction and less conspicuous consumption of technology (like making fancy entertainment such as Avatar) is the way to go.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  59. jdub87

    A fitting end to the "Geek" decade.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  60. Samskara

    Avatar is a rip off from the World of Warcraft (WoW)storyline.
    Here is the comparison for the story:
    – The blue colored aliens are called Dranei in WoW and very peace loving spirtual race
    – The floating land masses are same like a zone called Nagrand
    – Mountable dragonoids available in WoW
    – The Navi land with glowing vegetation and large mushrooms – same like Zangarmarsh.

    Any else see the similarity.....

    January 27, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  61. E

    I just saw Avatar over the weekend as well. Kinda amazing how far the 3-D technology has come over the last few years. Awesome story as well. It ended up being one of the few movies where I didn't get bored at any point. That's a good sign. Definitely going to be buying Avatar when it hits DVD too.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  62. Max

    Um, yeah, it's made more money than Titanic, but it's only sold about 1/3 the number of tickets. It's not hard to make more money when the ticket prices are almost double (in the US for 3D).

    January 27, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  63. Smarter than you

    P.S. Gene, Jake Sully is a former MARINE. NOT A SOLDIER, as someone who wears (wore) the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, Marines find it insulting to be referred to as a Soldier. As the standard U.S. Army soldier lacks the discipline a U.S. Marine has.


    January 27, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  64. Mr Henry

    Many comments about this story line being used before. To quote the great opening from the Year of the Horse album:

    Heckler: They all sound the same!?
    Neil Young: It's all one song.

    I loved Avatar and feel that it marks a turning point in how movies can be viewed. After a half century of evolving technology (3D, Digital, Interactive, Immersive etc), an artist with great talent, experience and lots of $$ has put it all together.

    The story reminds me of both Broken Arrow and The Matrix, both great films that tell a story which, in many ways, you feel like you already know. That's the trick...once you encounter great art, it feels this somehow was there all along (i.e. "a timeless story"). In fact, isn't that the real job of any artist: to freeze time – or even be outside of it – while also reflecting the time in which it is being created? To help you see what's already there.

    So maybe James Cameron is part Zen Master and part P. T. Barnum.. When I saw the film on New Years Day, I was struck by how focused and calm the entire theater was throughout the film. Like Al Jolson said "Wait a minute folks...you ain't seen nothin' yet".

    January 27, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  65. Ralph S Preston

    I would reccomend everyone see this movie at least once (except a couple friends I have that are blind in one eye), provided you see it in 3D. The special effeects were second to none.

    I know personally, if I sat through 3 hours of the movie in a regular theater, I would have left early. Like many others I thought the story was tired, the acting average at best, and the writing right there with the acting.

    Best movie of all time ? Not a chance.

    Best special effects of all time ? Not a doubt !

    January 27, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  66. Bob

    On an inflation adjusted basis Gone with the Wind is still number one all time and Avatar is well well back. Check out boxofficemojo.com for the numbers. It drives me crazy that the media doesn't present things on equal terms and inflation adjusted.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  67. Ryan

    To all of you people who are hating on this movie. With all due respect, you must be on crack. The acting was great, the story was great, and the effects in 3D were like nothing even close to what I've seen before. I remember at one point in the movie just reeling in awe of how creative and imaginative this alternate world was. I felt proud of my country in the sense that people are so talented to invent this whole other world of beauty. This movie is truely inspiring and immerses a viewer in the experience. It is a total escape from reality and I felt like a part of this world and emotionally connected to the characters and story. This movie is simply amazing! Haters begone!

    January 27, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  68. Mr. T

    Where is Papa Smurf? I expected the 30th anniversary of the Smurfs movie to have Papa in it? Plus the Smurfs don't really look like I remember them for some reason.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  69. Smarter than you

    First off, when will people get this movie has nothing to do with Iraq, or Blackwater, or anything like that? The movie was written 15 years ago. So please people stop trying to be "deep" and find meanings in this movie. They are simple. Which is why it is so successful. Yes, the plot has been told over and over, the acting was just fine, music, graphics were great. I don't care if a story has been told 100 times, it all depends on how its told. Movies are entertainment, and believe I was entertained.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  70. Ratnok, Denver, CO

    For those comparing Avatar to "inflation-adjusted" numbers, remember, you can't adjust for inflation internationally. Mathematically, it's practically impossible. You have to use raw data.

    For the numbers domestically, don't forget that Gone With The Wind, Sound of Music, Star Wars, etc, had multiple re-releases that artificially inflate their total numbers. Also, older films such as GWTW, SOM, had much less media competition to deal with. No internet, no cable TV, and no "I'll just wait till it comes out on video/DVD." So the only chance you had to see the film was in the theater. There is a great deal of bias towards older domestic films in inflation adjusted comparisons.

    January 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  71. Inveigle

    I think Pam is brain-dead. The movie is enjoyable, but let's understand that it is rife with leftist jingoism. The storyline is nothing new and rehashes or steals from so many other flicks that it was like watching a revue of all the movies that bashed western expansion, capitalism, and militarism. Let's at least understand what it is. Lastly, unless ticket prices are adjusted for inflation, I suspect Titanic is still the real champ. Put an asterick next to this one for the time being.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  72. Ratnok, Denver, CO

    For those out there hating on Avatar. Guess what? The world disagrees with you. Avatar isn't the greatest movie ever, but it is the biggest.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  73. johnny B

    A curious 3D novelty, nothing more. People are rushing to see what the "train wreck" is all about, pushing it to crazy heights at the box office. Bottom line, its a derivative rehash full of cliches that is wrapped up in a very pretty package. It's great fun, but it's not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  74. Jack

    Didn't care much for the movie, but it beat Titanic .... and I despised Titanic. Two thumbs up ... just for that.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  75. Tybraxx

    Amazing movie!!!!!!!! I went to see the 3D version and it was visually the best movie I have ever seen.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  76. Rich

    Brian in Minnesota, weren't the villains private contractors employed by the mining company rather than Marines? I thought it was a clear analogy for the Blackwater types working in the Middle East.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  77. Gene

    Let me comment on a theme that has not been addressed so far – mythology. I have seen Avatar 4 times – twice in 3D and twice in 2D. I did not see a big difference in the visuals. What struck me about the film is that it is a re-telling of "The Hero's Journey". At the beginning of the film Jake is an ex-soldier with a crippled body. At the end of the film he has become a new person both physically and mentally. As you watch the film you see him not only develop his new avatar body but you see him struggle mentally – as he says to himself after being with Neytiri "Jake, what are you doing?" He goes from being a hired gun to the hero that saves his new people.
    Others are correct that the themes that people see in the movie have been used before and not only in movies – flying dragons, connecting two minds, a planet with consciousness, strong female characters, cryo-sleep for space travel, etc. have been written about in science fiction for decades! This does not detract in the least from the idea that Avatar is a good story that holds your attention.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  78. Travis

    Titanic held on to the record for 12 years, not 13.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  79. Scott

    It took me a couple minutes just to scroll down through all the replies. Love it or hate it, Avatar has been the most talked about film in a very long, long time.

    I am in the love it school. Avatar told a timeless story very well. It's actors immersed you into their lives, and Pandora felt so real you think you could reach out and touch it. As far as entertaining sci-fi is concerned, Avatar broke the mold, and movies from here on out will be measured against it. 20, 30 years from now, Avatar will be remembered like Star Wars.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  80. The Worst Movie Man

    Yeah I Saw This Movie Nothing Special. I Mean Ive Seen Better. The Graphics Were HORRIBLE. The 3D Is Stupid No Point And I Can Get A Better Movie If I Made One Myself. You Wanna See Action What Barney Now Thats Something I Would Pay Alot To See Or Maybe Rainbow Fish.

    January 27, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  81. Spartan Lim

    Anyone I've spoken with would say the same thing about this movie - "WOW, 3D is amazing." Most of them said nothing about anything else. Story is just a recycling product made by people in Hollywood. Personally, I think Avatar should be renamed "White Men's Burden:In 3D."

    January 27, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  82. poohwife

    Amazing movie !!! I absolutely agree. Fantastic graphics.
    I found this movie very intersting. I think this movie was the first movie that I've seen with putting on 3D glasses. While I was seeing the movie, I felt like I was in the movie . I guess 3D movies are being improved . I want the next amazing 3D movie to be released as soon as possible. In Korea, Avatar is getting more and more popular. Entertainers disguise themselves like avatar. HaHa.
    Anyway , That movie is the best movie I've ever seen in 2010.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  83. Henry Melito

    If you live in America–you live in the space where 20 to 40 million indigenous people were killed in the genocide of genocides.
    Whet took place here makes the holocaust look like romper room.
    But no one wants to look at this or admit that it has and is occurring.
    Avatar-is a beautiful –in your face confrontation –to indifference and greed.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  84. Andras Takacs from Hungary

    AVATAR is a great movie in 3D, but is amazing in IMAX3D!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  85. Alex

    Sharla –

    to answer your question:
    Avatar is indeed the highest grossing movie of all time, but as you pointed out, this is due to IMAX and 3D screenings that charge enormous premiums. If you take this factor into account when judging the movie by its ticket sales, Avatar lags behind many other blockbuster movies.

    January 27, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  86. evile420

    Great movie! yes it has all been done before (the CGI alone reminded me of games such as Phantasy Star Online and the Final Fantasy series... even the floating islands), but I still loved it and have seen it 3 times so far (all in Imax) and I am planning on seeing it again!

    With all the passion going one way or another, the movie is like a new Rorschach (ink blot) Test, you will see what you want to see.

    I am happy that it passed Titanic... what is it about people and their love affair with predictable endings? Don’t tell me you didn’t know the boat sunk at the end...

    And you know what, all the talk about being in touch with nature is all well and good, but I really want one of those mech suits! If all it takes is burning down some rainforests, let’s get to it!

    I was already cheated out of my flying car... don’t take my giant robot suit away from me!!

    Oh, and George Bush hates blue people...

    January 27, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  87. fredchah

    Very entertaining; Great special effects; Even the storyline was cute with its references to Gaia and the respect of nature. One could also appreciate obvious parallels with American history against the Indians, the gold rush, and now, the rush for this most precious of resources, oil. I am sure that Avatar will be remembered as a turning point in movie making; probably as the first movie to commercialize 3D viewing on that scale. All good. But I would never go as far as calling it the greatest movie ever. It's too much "pop" culture, too simplistic. You cannot compare it to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odissey, for example, or to any of a number of realy great works.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  88. Soeun Park

    is it a good idea to watch AVATAR in 3-D? i don't think it makes any difference, caus, there is a rumor that it makes people feel dizzy.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
  89. Soeun Park

    i know,... AVATAR was a great movie.
    i am a Korean, and here, a great number of people have watched AVATAR. That proves how international it is.

    January 27, 2010 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  90. michael maga - phils.


    Analyze this, assume the gross value box office, the titanic time do not have 3D yet, but the ticket price for 3D now is high than titanic time. Imagine, compare if they have the same number of movie goers got in titanic time and avatar time, definitely avatar will got more money. But if both shown today with 3D, maybe they will get almost the same amount.

    In addition, in our area, this 3D movie were only selected at some cinemas, still have 2D's around. I heard from others, after watching 2D, they still want to watch again in 3D in later days, so they will not have to queue long.

    With that small difference of $16M, I guess titanic still #1.

    just a thought, do box office computed in making money, or the number of movie goers, or both?

    i've watch it, great movie but there's a deep message around it.


    January 27, 2010 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
  91. Bob

    I think rather than using money intake to decide the top movie of all time that it should be the number of people who bought tickets. I know that when I saw Star Wars I only paid $2.50 compared to the $8 that they charge now? Number of viewers is the key to success on movies. If you don't have the viewers then who is more successful

    January 27, 2010 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  92. Bahige

    This film was nice but disappointing....3D is no substitute for a good and original script. The ideas have been over used. Sigourney Weaver was the highlight of this film: 60 and gorgeous

    January 27, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  93. Hymirvetr

    Due to inflation,these numbers are wrong anyway.

    Avatar is Pocahontas& Ferngully with a cheap underlying message,a more than predictable plot.

    This took Cameron over 10 Years?



    White guilt sure does sell some tickets.

    Since i live in Germany,there was no 3D version.Also,3D does not work for me since i cannot see stereoscopic stuff.It gives me headaches.This is no revolutionary technology.

    Was not worth the hype or the money.Special Effects should not substitute for a plot.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  94. Jay

    I think villains should have been portrayed as Saudi sheikh or taliban/bin laden or burka clad islamic allah or something..... instead of US Marines.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
  95. Jerry

    Well, I like Avatar AND Sarah Palin. Sure, the effects were great, but more importantly, the movie featured the very Christian theme of the need to be "born twice".

    January 27, 2010 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  96. Jay

    What is 'Avatar' means? Is it sanskrit or kind of hindu mythology? but i don't see the connection anyway.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  97. LucMandelor

    I saw Avatar last week in 3d, and all I can say: Amazing!

    The story itself, the technology the film made by, and the characters....

    But most of all, the effort to show the people how to respect our planet and save it....

    January 27, 2010 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
  98. JD

    Anyone else think of Dances With Wolves when watching this? It is not original in the least. That being said, it is very entertaining. I am excited to see this in 3-D. The acting was so so at best, the effects were great (I really enjoyed the digital cinematography)...I still don't understand why people think Michelle Rodriguez can act in the least...oh wait, it's not her acting we're looking at is it?

    Overall a "B-" in my book due to the lack of acting prowess and old news plot.

    January 27, 2010 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  99. Nathan

    I feel in love with Pandora.... wish our world would be fresher :((
    Love the movie, love the graphics, love the cast. Good job James!!!

    -Waiting for your next movie-

    January 27, 2010 at 4:51 am | Report abuse |
  100. Ja dog a

    So many have said that Titanic was a better movie because Avatar was toooooo predictable........did you REAL not now the boat was going to sink?

    January 27, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  101. katc

    It was the fantasy. Nature the way we wish it was, not the way it is. The Law Of The Jungle rewritten so that the nice guys beat the ones who are actually fit and strong. Mother Nature really likes nice guys best.

    January 27, 2010 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
  102. claudia

    this was definitely worth it!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  103. Ted

    Love of the environment, happiness of mankind, respect for the environment? What are you talking about? I didn't go to see the movie for that! I went because it was possibly one of the coolest films made, good reviews by my friends and the 3d. Not some tree hugging feel good story about the environment.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  104. Jason

    I think it is kinda funny that people bash the storyline and the acting in the movie, neither of which were fantastic but they were not meant to be. This is a visual story, an action movie with a message. If you watch this movie and do not enjoy it then your a moron and or you just like being negative, and probably have no talent at much of anything creative.

    January 27, 2010 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  105. Michael in LA

    I love Avatar. Seen it 7 times, going back for more. As far as the wannabe movie critics in here are concerned...hey let's see how well you make a movie. Go rent a camera, hire a crew and get to work.

    Criticism is easy. Way too easy, in fact. If I want to listen to blowhards, I'll tune in Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. LOL

    January 27, 2010 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  106. Waloo

    I loved loved loved this movie! If I had to live in a movie, I would definitely live in pandora. The movie shows what life should be like and I loved it.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  107. neO

    Humans- if they weren't scientist they were contracted mercenaries (most ex military... remember Jake Sully was one too and he wasn't inhumane)

    Na'Vi- they only interacted in the form of learning at schools. and the obvious battle here and there. At the end the arrows WERE effetive aginst humans and hover-planes w.e. didnt work at long range for obvious reasons

    Movie in general. It is a story thats been retold a million times, but i love it every time its retold. Especially in this movie.Just watch the Simpson and every movie that comes out from now on will be considered a retold story (one way or the other).

    Graphics. it had awesome graphics no matter what you say.

    The acting was sometimes weird but it wasnt bad. And if you think CGI doesnt count as acting...they used motion capture, so the only thing that changed is the way their face looked.

    Movie sale? and #1 box office status?

    Movies weren't bootlegged online like before.
    People didnt have the "i think everything is bad if not done my way" attitude.
    Movies had ONE price before. Not our 2D 3D price difference.
    Now-a-days people cant but compare movies to other movies.

    Bottom line.

    Avatar deserves better. It was a GREAT movie. And not only did it have a good message (Cameron said it did... it was obvious) it also had a perfect overall awesome feel atmosphere. He better make a sequel. And i hope that ones beats the first one by a long shot.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  108. Kay

    Yes what made it beat Titanic was the graphics but its pretty sad when people complain about how passionate Avatar fans when "religious" people are the same way about their religion, when Americans are that way about themselves and their country, when Lord of the rings fans or fans if just about ANY movie and show are that way. It only makes the complainers and bashers look like hypocrites. On the other hand, I can't completely bash the complainers, its sad how so many people care more about movies and Hollywood, rather then caring other people, kids and helping others in this country or others. Selfish human beings we are.

    With that being said, I did enjoy Avatar immensely, it wowed me. Sure the plot was pretty predictable but so is almost every other plot in movies that have come out in the last 10-20 years. It doesn't make you "cool" to like complex or unpredictable plots, dears. personally I like both unpredictable and predictable plots but I guess I'm more open minded then most people. I'm not just one way

    January 27, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  109. mrblonde

    Avatar was an amazing theater going experience, but sadly it was James Cameron's WORST movie since Piranha 2. Cameron's movies have always bee n know for their original stories, realistic characters, flawless scripts, and groundbreaking special effects. This movie had the special effects aspect, but none of the others. Cameron says he came up wit hthe idea of Avatar 15 years ago.....was that right after he saw Dances With Wolves? A wounded solider moves to a new frontier and begins a new life, befriends the natives, eventually sides with them and fights against his own people....I loved it when Kevin Costner did it.

    I love James Cameron, "Aliens" and "The Abyss" are two of my favorites which is why I just can't grasp why Cameron let go of all his strengths and released crap.

    The old "my twin was a genius and I'm just a grunt but now hes dead and only I can replace him" plot? Really? Didn't Shia Lebouf just do that in Eagle Eye? I think Chris Rock did that movie a few years ago too.

    The mineral is called unobtanium? really?

    I love the climactic battle between a human inside a android vs. a 10 ft tall alien....but I loved it even more the first time Cameron did it in 1986 in "Aliens"

    If the sky people's goal was to blow up the Na'vi's sacred ground and run, so why did they put troops on the ground? Best possible outcome would be they blow up their own troops.

    And don't get me started on beastieality....he was nailing a chick with a tail right?

    This movie was an insult to any intelligent viewer. The scenes of Pandora and the 3D was some of the best I've ever seen, I just wish Cameron had put down his new camera for 15 minutes and came up with a story that made any sense.

    If you think the message of Avatar is powerful, go rent the director's cut of "The Abyss." That is Cameron at his best.

    January 27, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  110. Dave

    ...again Hollywood should judge a movie by number of tickets sold as opposed to the dollar amount.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  111. Ike

    Its a shame that even with such clear signs with this movie, some people still fail to see the message it conveys. It just shows their inability to perceive intuitively. May those who saw what Cameron tried to depict nurture it in their hearts and translate it into deed for one day it will be a deciding factor.

    Only people who can still muster some life within, who can still perceive intuitively will see the real message behind this movie. Its good to dissect the movie using the intellect but it should be guided by the intuitive perception which extracts goodness in whatever it focuses on.

    Those who only find faults shows the state they are in. They can only see the bad things in others and never strive to see good in others. A time will arrive when they cannot even know what goodness is anymore.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  112. ian jege

    Jebediah, which avatar did you watch. i know for a fact you are not describing the one i watched three days ago! James Cameron you done did it again. awesome movie!

    January 27, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  113. Dave

    Actually if you replace the Avatar ticket price to all ticket prices ever, Avatar is not the highest grossing film of all time. Gone With the Wind is the highest followed by Star Wars and The Sound of Music..

    January 27, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  114. Eric from Richmond, VA

    Loved Avatar.

    And to all those people who are upset that it was 'predictable;' you're right; we had no idea what was going to happen in Titanic.

    To those who claim it's too much like Dances With Wolves or Fern Gully or some other movie; most movies draw inspiration from something. The Matrix; totally a rip off of Terminator if you think about it. Humans building machines to do their work for them; humans lose control of robots and robots take over the world. We need our one hero (either John Connor or Neo) to save us from the machines.

    Nobody ripped the Matrix for that. Funny people all of a sudden are doing it to Avatar. Dances With Wolves wasn't the first film with it's theme either.

    If you don't enjoy the movie; fine; but those attacks are rather weak if you ask me. Fortunately I don't require everyone to enjoy for me to.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  115. Dennis

    Avatar deserves to be number one worldwide! I guess there is still hope for our planet – that is why Avatar is bringing people, young and old, back into the theaters (many repeat viewers). Easily the Best Picture (since Titanic IMO) and Avatar should win every Oscar nomination! If the Academy does not honor Avatar as Best Picture of the Year it will lose all credibility with – you got it – that's right – the whole world!!!

    January 27, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  116. Tim

    I have watched it 4 times, and I will watch it again. Great movie.

    January 27, 2010 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  117. Rashel

    watching 'avatar' was just amazing. i was glued to my seat, and almost forgot to breathe. pandora was such a beautiful place and how i wish we could have that here on earth...the mutual respect and harmony between all the wonderful creations...to the director and creator fo the film...well done...

    January 27, 2010 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  118. darkjuan

    It was the special effects that made this movie so big, not the story plot that can be found in so many other movies and books.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Brian in Minnesota

    Avatar was truely stunning with it's technical achievements. However, I take offense to the villains being portrayed as US Marines. Rather than creating a Darth Vadar or Nazi type character, James Cameron selects our honarable military men and woman (save one) as insensitive, inhumane, trigger happy, and blind to the human condition. I believe as we speak we have troops in Haiti helping our brethern and in Obama's "just war" in Afghanistan. Our troops deserve more respect than this cheap portrayal in a profit motivated movie production.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  120. debiddo1

    For all the Avatar bashers surely you must have been able to suss out the plot and characters before going to see it ? Simply ranking on familiar elements is not valid criticism. This movie made many people feel uplifted about our shared humanity and to heap scorn on such a positive message reeks of unbridled selfishness. It is of one of the few hopeful experiences we've had this century. Let's just bask in its glow.

    January 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  121. Way

    This movie is just Dances With Wolves with a sci fi twist nothing new here. Still loved it. I thought it would been a bit more...

    January 26, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  122. average brown man

    I guess between people answering their cell phones and talking in the theater as if they were the only ones there it was damn skippy! I want to bore your children quaker oats dude!

    January 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Cambob

    I get a kick out of the people who complain that Avatar is not a great movie. Um.. #1 box office movie.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  124. avatar_boy

    Funny responses more than the article. Avatar was an excellent film because it broke barriers. Done. That's it. It did what Star Wars New Hope did in 1977. I mean it's groundbreaking, good story telling, and it also takes a stab out Bush. I mean think about it, tree-cutting? Removing Amazon natives? Mining for minerals? They mind as well put in some pyramids and camels to make this work, although it did have some weird rhinos.

    In the end, this is what George Lucas wishes he had made with Episode 1. That was a horrid movie in my book. Avatar? It's the movie of the century. It has changed entertainment forever.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  125. John

    Disappointing that this terrible plotted movie will be number 1. Exceptional 3D to be certain....but under developed and offensive plot.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Mark Stephenson

    I didn't only love Avatar because is is the most visually stunning and most richly imagined world that any of us are likely to see on the screen in our lifetimes.

    I didn't only love Avatar because, as a lifelong SF fan of more than 40 years, Avatar is the realization of the kind of film I have been waiting for since I was 12.

    I didn't only love Avatar because it is chock full of great action sequences and excitement.

    I especially loved it because it drives right-wing, teabaggin', love it 'er leave it, town hall yellin', magnetic-ribbon sportin', neocon strokin' superpatriots nuts because their unerring view that Eminent Domain American-style means we can do anything we want to anybody we want just because they have something we want, dad gummit!

    The natives of Pandora, the Na'Vi, were fighting to protect their world and their homes from invading aliens who were hellbent on raping their planet, destroying their culture and "converting" them to an alien way of thinking to make it easier for us to convince them that we have a right to take whatever we want, and to hell with them. It is the same line of thinking that gave the Native Americans the Trail of Tears, blankets infected with smallpox and Wounded Knee in the 19th century. If you want to view it in science fictional terms, what difference is there between the humans in Avatar and the marauding aliens of Independence Day or The War of the Worlds? Nope, I can't think of any difference either. The Battle of Pandora was essentially an offworld Little Big Horn and well deserved. Check out some of the newspaper accounts of Custer's last engagement. Some of the papers at the time sided with the SIoux over the incursions of prospectors and miners into lands deeded to them under treaty.

    What Jake Sully and his other human allies in Avartar did on behalf of the Na'Vi was not treason or a sellout. It was the only morally right, redemptive course of action they could take.

    Storywise, Avatar was not Cameron's best SF work. I would reserve that position for Aliens. Yes, it was a "going native" story like Dances or Last Samurai. So freakin' what? If you don't want to see it, don't see it. I don't give a ratzass whether you do or not. I've seen it enough times for all of you.

    Mundanes are so insufferably boring, especially wingnuts.. (My SF cohorts know what I mean.)

    January 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Adam

    Jebediah has a point,=. This report even says it:

    "The studio [...] attributes the film’s enormous success to moviegoers embracing director James Cameron’s message of respect for life and a hope for a peaceful planet."

    The acting and characters themselves were mediocre at best, but it was Cameron's message and his vision of Pandora that moviegoers have connected to. Personally, I felt the story was a Pocahontas knock off, but the way he created a whole world and culture, well, I thought that was amazing.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Edgar Betancourt

    Unless you have lived in a bucket your entire life you have seen this story in many previous movies. However the simple almost childlke storyline is not what this movie is about. What makes this movie unique and great is its fantastic, innovative cinematography. In it, 3D is not a silly gimmick but it leads to true immersion in a exquisite alternate reality, its better than a dream.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Average White Man

    January 26th, 2010 5:25 pm ET

    So, loved the movie-graphics were amazing, but I was curious if anyone was thinking like I was that it was like a more sci-fi version of the matrix.


    The Matrix WAS sci-fi. And in movies, I tend to like regular graphics more than "movie graphics"

    January 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  130. Oscar In Louisville

    It was Dances With Super-Sized Smurfs, but it was rather enjoyable.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  131. taekwonjohn

    Definitely not the greatest story ever told and definitely not the best movie of the decade. But definitely the best movie experience of the decade (if seen in 3D.) This is where Cameron excels and blows everyone else out of the water. He makes going to see a movie in the theater worthwhile. Pretty much ANY other movie can be seen at home in better comfort and be just as enjoyable. A James Cameron movie is an experience and makes for an enjoyable night out. He invents new FX that demands a theatrical screening. Then he gets ripped off for 10 years and that technology is boring again...until James Cameron comes up with something else to blow your mind.

    Oh, and like the story or not, you have to admit it was a visual masterpiece. It took 14 years to make and tons of prideful work to accomplish and that much deserves everyone's respect. True work of art and passion.

    January 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Skinnyg

    I just wanted it to beat Titanic...

    January 26, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Jade in San Francisco

    The whole Gone with the Wind analogy is a red herring. I mean how many times did Gone With the Wind need to be released over the years for it to make what it did? I don’t deny that GWTW was a major success and one of the great commercial successes of all time, but it had certain advantages that today’s movies don’t have, and which people conveniently forget. For example, back when it came out, if you wanted to see a movie, you HAD to see it in theaters. There were no computers so no web piracy, no DVDs or VHS, no cable, no Pay-Per-View or HBO. The proliferation of widespread TV ownership had yet to take place. You couldn’t see a trailer for a movie like GWTW or Avatar and think, “Oh, I’ll wait for it on Blu-Ray.” If you didn’t see it in theaters, you didn’t see it!

    January 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  134. erthe

    This movie DOES stand for what the "conservatives" are saying! Man and his machines are raping nature of all her resources. We are a part of nature. She can carry on just fine without us but we CANNOT live with out her!! I guess you are just acting like your bible tells "man his dominion over the earth/animals". This movie depicts just what we did to the "native/first Americans", taking over (what we assumed was their land) their culture, raping them, killing them...... They never claimed to "own" the land they lived WITH the land and understood the NATURAL LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE/NOT MAN'S SELFISH LAWS WRITTEN IN SOME BOOK. If you people can't see the historical similarities you are doomed to repeat it. We deserve everything we get back from her. "You are only borrowing her energy" from Avatar, Albert Einstein said "energy is never created nor destroyed, just changed". You are on borrowed time and our time is running out!

    January 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  135. Broose

    Yes the story was prdictable.Yes it paralleled other themes.
    Ya the acting was good.
    But......I couldn't wait to watch how the story played out.
    3D was the only way too go.
    How many movies do you see when people clap at the end?
    James Cameron did his job very well.
    Maybe I'll see it for a forth time.........

    January 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  136. Dennis

    To whoever said the theatre get 50% of the gross. Not true. They don't get any. The entire ticket price goes to the movie studio. That's the reason they charge so much for food. Thats the only source of their profits.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  137. dwighthuth

    If all you are after is action and explosions then perhaps watching Terminator is the movie for you. The real story behind the movie is about one culture protecting itself from an invader that will stop at nothing to get what it came for. Sound like Big Oil coming to get your money out of your pocket? Avatar should have awoken every single viewers primordial communion with the planet Earth from which we come and live on and must take care. Earth and humanity are symbiots meaning that if one dies so to will the other. eright now we are killing ourselves by continuing to use fossil fuels instead of developing alternative fueld like the hybrid fuel cell or bio-diesel. The more that we continue to make ourselves dependant upon the need for oil the more likely we are to fracture the planet while drilling and when the big quake comes these drilled holes could be epicenters for further quakes to break apart the land and swallow up humanity. We can no longer have the "I wont be around forever attitude so why bother" or "This is the way it has always been so why change let the next generation deal with it." These mentalities are all from people who only want to do the minimal in life while expecting large returns and if they cant make money off a cause then the cause is not worth doing. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a prime example of what we are doing to Earth to Eywa. We must all see what needs to be done and join this cause to keep our planet clean and habitable for the next generation and generations to come after that.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  138. Mr.Pham's

    I have just seen "Avatar" this weekend. This is a movie very successful. But I love Titanic than.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Trevor

    Now only if the money made on the film could be used to turn his vision into a reality, instead of making the shareholders fatter. Obviously the public has shown great interest in the world of pandora, we have the means of accomplishing something similar! What does a dream become with out action?

    January 26, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  140. JC

    Don't get me wrong, I liked the film fine. But story-wise, it was very reminiscent of Disney's Pocahontas - right down to the talking tree.

    January 26, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  141. Eric

    I agree that Avatar rocked, but Lord of the Rings can't be beat for sheer detail, and the depth and breadth of character. Plus, LOTR has a much better musical score (Howard Shore) than Avatar (James Horner).

    January 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  142. St.Jeanius

    Adjusted for inflation or not, Avatar deserves all it success. It has united a worldwide audience better than any film in history and it took less than two months to do it.

    Well, that and about ten years of pre-production, inventing a new motion capture camera (Newtonesque), millions of hours of work, millions of dollars and not to mention the orchestration of hundreds of artists, actors and crew needed to complete such a monumental task.

    The second viewing of this film was the best theatrical experience I have ever had, and I am a giant film nerd. Avatar deserves to be mentioned with benchmarks like trip to the moon, the jazz singer, and birth of a nation. This film has mastered the use of technology.

    Bravo to you sir Cameron (American Royalty). James Cameron is a digital shaman. Your move Spielberg!

    January 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Paul

    The movies success had nothing to do with "James Cameron’s message of respect for life and a hope for a peaceful planet" as the studio claims. I thought the story line was rather weak. The special effects were good, but that's about it.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  144. AVATAR

    this has no signs of slowing down as of now, who know when this will stop, $2.5 Billion?

    January 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Deebsflo

    And because it is a movie that promotes the themes of protecting the environment, respecting life, and yearning for a peaceful planet and those themes have united millions worldwide, naturally the church is officially against it.

    Can people still really claim that religion is good and not evil anymore?

    January 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  146. Jason

    "Respect for life and a hope for a peaceful planet"? What a bunch of crap! What fantasy world do these people live in? It is #1 because of the amazing CGI. The story is okay and predictable. This isn't an Al Gore movie. To sit in the theatre and take in the amazing visual effects is mind blowing. I have seen it 2 times and don't get to the movies often. I can assure you it isn't because I am hoping for a peaceful planet. No use wasting time hoping for something that will never come.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  147. dmwhipp

    Our family saw this in IMAX 3D opening weekend. The graphics were amazing, but the story is basically a Ferngully rehash. If all movies looked this good, more people would realize the plot was pretty average. If you're going to go see it, pay the extra and at least enjoy the fantastic 3D effects. It's much more memorable for its graphics and special effects than its plot or actors. Overall, I'd give it a B.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Chip Pierce

    It's about time someone made a movie worth seeing.
    I haven't seen this yet, but anything that pokes fun at people and their greed, I'm diggin' it.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Gui

    It did make me happy to know that it topped Titanic. This is a much more clever movie – not because of it's special effects – but the story behind the cool scenes and effects.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  150. veggiedude

    I've been a big fan of Cameron since Aliens. No, I did not see anything from 'Matrix' in this film, but I did see 'Dances with Wolves'. Anyone who thinks the acting or plot was bad needs to read Roger Eberts review. He hits it right on the head. Amazing movie, and yes, the message that all life should be respected is an important one, and one that stuck a chord with me.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Ticket prices

    Actually the 3d has little to do with ticket prices as it really depends on what part of the country you are in. Example it cost 14 to see it at my home town theater but only 11 at the IMAX about an hour away. Also the website boxofficemojo.com shows the movies adjusted for inflation (7.35) per ticket, and AVATAR has a higher gross when you adjust all ticket prices to the above (lower for most cities) price. Interesting fact for people blaming its amazing gross solely on ticket prices

    January 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  152. vofreason

    What people fail to acknowledge is the difference between enjoying a movie, and seeing a critically good movie. And I would disagree that enjoyment is only possible from a good movie. Yes, Avatar is an enjoyable movie. Yes, it is a spectacle to be seen. Yes, I would recommend it to all my friends. However, this is not a triumphant success in story-telling or cultural representation. And frankly, I was offended at the presentation of the natives. They'd been living in close proximity to an alien race, fighting them constantly, and yet they still didn't have any clue that their arrows wouldn't do anything? Silly, stupid, Na'vi. Even the American Indians picked up guns eventually. C'mon... Be realistic. Not to mention, many admit it's predictability, but give it a pass because of the tech and message. Let's acknowledge the film for being enjoyable to watch – to see. But let's not go overboard and give it awards for Best Picture, and titles like "greatest movie ever made". It's a technological feat that can be bested by newer technology. The story and acting is what make something great and timeless. This has an average story with decent acting. We'll remember the movie for breaking records and technological barriers – not for being a great movie.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  153. shannon

    i loved the movie. why does everyone read to much in to the movie, just sit back, open your mind and enjoy the movie.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Dude

    I liked the concept and the message about living in harmony with the environment and all, but realistically box office does not tell the whole story these days.

    Compare this movie with something like Star Wars and ask yourselves, was that a life changing experience? At least that it what Star Wars was for me ...

    Also I think I tend to agree about the comments about Scientology analogy. You guys need to accept that even though the movie was good , some people finds it very predictable.


    January 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  155. matt

    This movie has got the best 3D CGI out there!

    January 26, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Chris

    I've seen the movie twice now in regular 3D because the IMAX 3D has been sold out every weekend by noon since it opened. I'm going to have to watch the IMAX 3D version during the week or wait another few weeks.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Lightsinger

    LOVED Avatar. Having said that, yes the story was predictable – totally, but that didn't bother me at all. There are some stories so basic, so much a part of our human experience, that of course we're going to hear them again and again. Take David and Goliath...how many times have we seen that story in one form or another? Does it mean we don't still root for the "little guy"? Nope. We're going to root for him every time, in every story where someone is the odds on favorite to lose, and wins instead. Going native old hat? Well, of course it is. Doesn't mean I'm not going to find the retelling interesting and moving.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  158. Katie

    Dear Brian,

    I complely agree and thank you for your eloquence. Like myths, stories speak to the human condition and are meant to be retold. Enjoy.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Julian

    AVATAR tops my movie list as the all-time best – in performances, special effects, sound, music, and story line. It was to the point and directed with a punch. I was spell bound with ingenious way the movie drove home the way we have exploited nature, animals, and anything we can get our hands on...for CASH. What a poinant way to reveal the sickness that pervades our planet.
    Manufacter as much as we can for as little quality as we can for as much profit as we can make – we do it with animals and the way they are treated for fast food. We see it in the valuable rainforests, and other natural mineral resources uncovered – look what the diamond industry has done in Africa – alot of blood spilled for nice looking rocks.

    I could go on, but I want to give a big Hug for James cameron and everyone who worked on the film – I loved the movie!!

    January 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  160. Saedran

    @ Sharla: It cost more because the film was in 3D. All 3D movies charge $3-5 more than their 2D counterparts.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  161. Cameron

    Some are leaving complaints about the movie... predictable or lacking or whatever. What you are failing to see is Cameron made going to the movies an event again. Good or bad "Avatar" is a spectacle. The 3-D is amazing no matter how you look at it. Its not Cameron's best story , but he made going to the movies worth it again.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  162. Brian

    So this is a re-telling of a story that has been told over and over – you are right. Avatar is an exploration of mankinds basic faults that we can't seem to overcome – prejudice against racial or ethnic groups that we deem 'below' our own, and incessant greed that drives men to a destructive or even self-destrictive end.
    The list of movies and themes borrowed from is endless, but none of these themes were ever truly original to those movies, either. Cameron has woven together a timeless human tale often retold, I think more eloquently and beautifully than ever before. Gripes about the plotline, the acting, the script all ring hollow and disingenuous – I would argue that all are expertly delivered.
    What this film does is to deliver a message and pierce the heart with it (if you've got one). Relax and just enjoy this film for what it is.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  163. rYAN


    I've also met people who jump at me when I say something about the Green Bay Packers, Barack Obama, and the TV show Modern Family. I think it's a little dramatic to compare people's passion for this movie with the people who preach Scientology. The goal of those people is to spread their "religion/belief system." People (including you) are passionate about things that other people find completely pointless. And if you're sure they will go back to their "I don't care attitude" why are you worried about it?

    January 26, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  164. Carolyn

    I saw Avatar opening weekend and was very disappointed. The story was predictable and had no surprises. The acting wasn't good and the dialogue was bad. The grafics were good and the planet that Cameron created was cool. I liked the floating rocks and the creatures, but you need more than that to carry a movie. I do not understand why this movie is so big and it most certainly did not deserve best picture at the Golden Globes.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  165. adjusted for inflation

    adjusted for inflation – Avatar ranks like 26 see boxofficemojo.com

    January 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  166. Josh

    Personally I love Avatar, more then any movie I have ever seen. But no I don't freak out when some one doesn't like it. They did not connect with it like I did, thats ok.

    I am exceedingly happy it displaced Titanic as #1 for a few reasons.
    1) I hated Titanic.
    2) Its awesome to see a Sci-Fi at #1
    3) I love the movie ^.^

    January 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  167. Justin - NC

    I have to say this movie was just mediocre without the 3-D effects. Its the same as every "Going Native" movie ever made (see Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, or Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner). Its not even Cameron's best film, that honor still goes to Terminator 2 in my honest opinion followed extremely closely by Titanic and True Lies (I never noticed he like T's so much). Still, an incredible director whose given us numerous hits. I think Spielberg is the greatest however with Cameron a close second.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  168. andy

    I saw this movie last week in an IMAX theater in 3-D. Great movie!! No one who sees it will be surprised at why it is doing so well in the boxoffice!

    January 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  169. jack

    very cool movie and the graphics excellently done,

    January 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  170. Babar

    I agree with pongo....Avatar was extremely predictable in ALL aspects. The 3D effect was well-done, but not in your face.
    I do not think it is the best movie ever!...LOTR was more spectular.

    Any 3hr movie which does not seem like 3hrs and still leaves you wanting more...is a good movie. I will definately watch the sequel.

    January 26, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  171. EL


    Box office receipts are based on amounts collected less the theaters cut (generally 50%). Your paying more for a ticket in one theater does affect the overall number.

    That being said, when they compare movies, they never adjust for inflation. This leads to invalid comparisons. I would like to see the following comparisons instead:

    1. General inflation adjusted box office receipts
    2. Ticket price inflation adjusted box office receipts – this is different from #1 in that it does not use the general Consumer Price Index, but rather a (currently non-existent AFAIK) Movie Ticket Price Index that would more accurately reflect the rise in ticket prices independent of the overall rise in all goods and services.
    3. Total # of tickets sold
    4. # of tickets sold as percentage of eligible movie goers. This would take into account general population growth and would give a more realistic gauge to the popularity of the movie.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  172. Hopeful

    Unfortunately there IS something already wrong with the world... hello! Indeed it is sad that we need Hollywood to give us a wake up call but Avatar did it. All I have heard from everyone who has seen it (everyone I know) is how humans suck and need to change. The story wasn't exactly original but the style was. Awesome effects and acting in my opinion.

    2 thumbs up.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  173. maria

    whats wrong with you people avatar is one of the the best films that were made by james cameron....
    amazing graphics, story line and all..
    love love love it...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  174. pongo

    The storyline was utterly predictable, even if I empathize heavily with the underlying message.
    The technical aspects of the production were very good, especially the lifelike aspects of the generated characters and world. The 3D was very good.
    I hate Sigourney Weaver.
    I would give the movie a "B" rating, but would never challenge the ability of James Cameron to produce a financial blockbuster.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  175. Nick

    Pam, I need a hug...

    January 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  176. Zeekster

    I find it pretty scary that all the Avatar fans jump you when you say one bad thing about this movie. Avatar fans remind of how Scientologists are quick to sue when somebody mentions anything negative about scientology.

    The movie was average with great special effects. If you need a movie to wake you up about how the world is being or how to treat other then there is something already wrong. These fans will go back to their I don't care about anything attitude in about two weeks when the excitment of the movie dies out.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  177. Peter

    Well deserved - it's a magnificent movie which keeps you absolutely spellbound until after the ending credits.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  178. Daphne

    So, loved the movie-graphics were amazing, but I was curious if anyone was thinking like I was that it was like a more sci-fi version of the matrix.

    January 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  179. pam

    Jebediah, you must work for the oil companies and sarah palin. this movie is special and shows the world how we should be treating the earth and ALL of it's inhabitants-except maybe you-well, ok, the rest of us will be nice to you. You obviously need a hug...HUG!

    January 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  180. Sharla

    I have a question on this, does the revenue made on this movie reflect the price difference in movie tickets? The theater in my area is charging $4-$5 more to see this movie than the others, and I can imagine that movie ticket prices were quite a bit different back when Titanic was in theaters. Just a question?

    January 26, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  181. Jebediah

    Avatar lacks quality and makes up for the lack of real qcting with flashy graphics and animations. Two thumbs down

    January 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  182. Neil Kornswiet

    I just saw Avatar this weekend. It's a great movie and the 3D is amazing. This technology has really developed. Neil Kornswiet

    January 26, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About this blog

Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.