USA Today got a chance to chat with filmmaker James Cameron who filmed the unannounced Black Eyed Peas concert with 3D cameras in New York’s Times Square on Wednesday night. Cameron dropped a few interesting news tidbits, including information on the 3D release of Titanic, a possible extended cut rerelease of Avatar this Fall, more critical comments on how Hollywood is doing 3D wrong, and his thoughts on authorship of older catelog titles.
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A quick note, and hopefully one of the last stories we’ll have to run about Avatar breaking yet another box office record. This week, James Cameron‘s current film overtook his last one in the domestic box office tally. In its full theatrical run, Titanic grossed $600.8 million while Avatar has now taken $601.2 million in only 47 days. Go ahead and cite inflation and the 3D surcharge on ticket prices as factors in Avatar‘s gross; reportedly, more than 80% of Avatar‘s domestic business is from 3D screenings.
For a film that was pegged as a sure-fire failure by some, beating Titanic in less than two months is a hell of a thing, even with inflation and the 3D price bump.
Tonight, James Cameron‘s Avatar will become the #2 highest grossing movie of all time, and in just 20 days of release. The sci-fi 3d film will have overtaken The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King, which has a worldwide total of $1,119,110,941. Of course, Cameron has a ways to go, about $725 million, if he wants to sink the Titanic, the number one highest grossing film of all time and his last narrative feature film.
Remember a month ago when we were having conversations questioning if Avatar was going to earn its money back? If they film could cross $600 million worldwide? Would the movie be a success? Would audiences really go see this movie with ten foot tall blue cat people?
James Cameron‘s Avatar has crossed the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office in just 17 days, surpassing Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight to become #4 of all time. By the end of the week, the film is expected to surpass Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King to become the #2 worldwide release of all time. Of course, for now, Cameron’s Titanic remains seated at #1. James Cameron has become the first director to have two films earn $1 Billion. And by the end of the week, it should be up to $3 billion total between the two movies.
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As part of their upcoming interview issue, Newsweek invited James Cameron and Peter Jackson to have a chat about filmmaking in the technology age. There’s the typical banter praising each others projects, as well as some fairly good insight into how they both use technology, and what it means for the future of film. Perhaps most interestingly, Cameron says in passing that he’d rather make Titanic with more CG, if he were to do it today.
His full quote, after the break.
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Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2008 by David Chen
The /Filmcast: After Dark is a recording of what happens right after The /Filmcast is over, when the kids have gone to bed and the guys feel free to speak whatever is on their minds. In other words, it’s the leftover and disorganized ramblings, mindfarts, and brain diarrhea from The /Filmcast, all in one convenient audio file. In this episode, Dave, Devindra, and Adam discuss sports movies, internet fan reactions, and Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia. Special guest Vic Holtreman joins us from Screenrant.
Join us next Monday night at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as we review Burn After Reading with Eric D. Snider.
Download or Play Now:
- Your phone calls (781-583-1993) and e-mails
- The Wrestler
- Disturbia a Rear Window ripoff?
- The Fountain graphic novel
- Titanic sequel
- Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia
- Uwe Boll vs. Seltzer/Friedberg
- Fanboy rage
- Sports films
Box Office analysts are predicting that The Dark Knight will finish with $530-$540 million domestically, about one Forgetting Sarah Marshall away from breaking Titanic‘s $600.7 million record. But I believe they are wrong – and here’s why.
I’m sure that Warner Bros will rerelease the film in theaters eventually. The film has made a record $55 million on IMAX screens alone, and IMAX Filmed Entertainment chief Greg Foster tells The Hollywood Reporter that there is “a real possibility” of an IMAX rerelease in future years. Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express 3-D has been rereleased in IMAX theaters every holiday season, resulting in a four year total of $70 million. “Ultimately, it’s a decision that Warner Bros. has to make, Foster says, adding: “We’d certainly support that.”
Last month, The Dark Knight overtook Star Wars to become the second highest grossing domestic film of all time. But many people forget that Star Wars spent only a fraction of the last 31 years in the top two placements. Shortly after surpassing Jaws to become the highest grossing film of all time, Star Wars was knocked off the top by E.T. Overtaken by both Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump, Star Wars dropped the #4 of all time. It wasn’t until the late 90′s rerelease of the trilogy special editions that the film reentered the top two spots.
The stage has been set, and I’m sure it will eventually happen folks. It’s just a matter of when and how. Could Warner Bros rerelease the film in a special edition with additional footage that was cut from the theatrical release? If the studio wasn’t set on releasing a DVD in time for Christmas, they probably could have attempted some kind of special edition rerelease with extra footage. But alas, home video sales will be more profitable, especially during the holiday season.
From what I understand, there were no actual scenes that were completely cut out of The Dark Knight, only trims here and there. So I’m not sure if it would be worth it. But it didn’t stop Paramount/Dreamworks, which added a couple minutes of footage for the IMAX rerelease of Michael Bay’s Transformers. I seriously doubt Warner Bros would attempt to up-convert the film to 3D as the technology just isn’t there yet. Plus the action sequences would probably make your eyes bleed. One thing is or sure, the enviable digital conversion of IMAX theater will make the distribution of such a rerelease more cost effective.
As expected, The Dark Knight was dethroned at the Box Office this weekend, after five weeks on top. Tropic Thunder won the weekend with an estimated $26 million ($37 million 5-day total). But here is where the unexpected thing happened – The Dark Knight beat Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was projected to take the #2 spot on the weekend charts. The latest Star Wars film only made $15.5 million over the three days, a million or two less than The Dark Knight. And what’s worse is, Steve Mason is saying that the animated adventure might not even reach $40 million domestically. This is the first big Star Wars theatrical failure. And by failure, I mean it was still profitable. With anything Star Wars, it’s hard to lost money after merchandising, dvd and tv sales. But it will definitely be considered a failure within the Industry.
But not only did The Clone Wars fall to the Cape Crusader, but also the original Lucas sci-fi film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The film overtook Jaws to become the highest grossing film of all time. Then E.T. came and knocked the movie off the top spot. Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump knocked the film further down the all-time list to #4. But in 1997, Lucas rereleased the movie as part of the Special Edition trilogy release, which put A New Hope back on top of the list. But not for long, Titanic came later that year and knocked Star Wars back to the #2 slot, where it has remained until now. That’s right, The Dark Knight has just overtaken Star Wars to become the second highest grossing film of all time (domestically). Of course, this doesn’t take inflation into account.
The Dark Knight will end the weekend with an estimated $16.8 million, bring the film’s domestic total to $471.5 million. Analysts project The Dark Knight to finish around $525 million, about $75 million short of Titanic‘s record. And Star Wars fanboys shouldn’t worry too much. When George Lucas eventually releases the original Star Wars trilogy in 3D, A New Hope will probably be back on top once again.
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