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Old 04-28-2010, 08:13 PM
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Default Why did Avatar become the biggest movie of all time?

First off, excuse me if a thread similar to this has allready been posted. Did a search and nothing came up, so im just going for it!

Anyway, as the topic says: Why did Avatar become the biggest movie of all time in terms of box office, Blue Ray/DVD sales etc? What was the main factor that made people choose to go and see this, and not some other movie?

As far as i can tell, there must have been a few of theese factors:

1. Extremely positive word-of-mouth. Most people who vent to see this either liked it or loved it!

2. James Cameron is a very well-known and appreciated director.
He's made some of the, in my opinion, best movies in the last 20-30 years. Including Terminator 2, Titanic and Aliens. All of them critical and commercial succeses!

3. Revolutionary special effects. The CGI, together with the 3D format made this a "must-watch" at the cinemas, wich excluded a lot of people who usually don't go to the movies, and instead sit home and watch the pirated versions.

4. Blue, beautiful cat-people. Seriously, don't you know anyone who didn't go to see this just to check out how hot Jake or Neytiri was? I sure do

I made a similar thread on the IMDB Avatar boards, with zero replies, so it would be nice to see what you guys think made this the enormous success it is.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Why did Avatar become the biggest movie of all time?

Here is a reply

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Old 04-28-2010, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Why did Avatar become the biggest movie of all time?

ok ok, bad jokes aside.. What you have said is true. For me all of this plus the feelings that i get when watching Avatar, make it the best movie of all time.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:42 PM
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As with all movies, positive word-of-mouth is crucial, which Avatar received plenty of. However, negative word-of-mouth can do quite a lot as well. When news broke out about people getting depressed over the film, many went to see what all the hype was about. While this is not the kind of word-of-mouth that every movie should receive, it did give just about everyone a good reason to go see the film.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:16 PM
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It's not only about the effects and CGI in the movie, its message is deep and made the people to see it and find the message.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:20 PM
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I think it is also the story. Although the story of Avatar has been told before many times, people still like to see this sort of story told and it was done in a different way with very well done special effects, a fully realized world, a new group of people to learn about (the Na'vi), etc. There is a combination of reasons why people went. I know that it wasn't just for the special effects. That would not have made it the biggest movie of all time by itself. The fact is that Avatar tells a simple story with heart and that is what draws many people .
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel77 View Post
I think it is also the story. Although the story of Avatar has been told before many times, people still like to see this sort of story told and it was done in a different way with very well done special effects, a fully realized world, a new group of people to learn about (the Na'vi), etc. There is a combination of reasons why people went. I know that it wasn't just for the special effects. That would not have made it the biggest movie of all time by itself. The fact is that Avatar tells a simple story with heart and that is what draws many people .
Right, the story is basic... JC thinked probably why the same message was delivered in so many movies and people aren't acting, and as we see since Avatar many campaigns for environmentalism and Earth protection were started, meaning changes are beginning since Avatar and it's not that late to act. The movie deserves its place as the best movie of all time, speaking about viewings, storyline, and effects.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:29 PM
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I doubt this is a real term, but the reason for success is a profound connection the the worldwide collective unconscious. You see we all want connection to those around us, call it a place to belong. We all want to find "the one" to be with for life. We all want a purpose in life. For me this is why it is doing so well. Now don't get me wrong the look is very important as well. It was a synergy of all of it that led to unprecedented success.

I went to the theater expecting a cool looking action based movie. I don't know how long that lasted after it started, but not for long. I was captured by the story and it is still with me to this moment.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:29 PM
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One important factor is that it has universal appeal. It can appeal to a wide range of people whether you are young, old, male or female. Many movies appeal to a specific audience like young men (action films) or women (romances like Titanic) the main cinema going. But Avatar seems to have crossed all boundaries.

It is also popular all round the world. it didn't just appeal to the West. It was popular everywhere.

I also think much of what was done in the movie was unique and new.

On a technical level, you had a new way of using 3D to immerse the viewer in the movie. Beforehand much 3D is really a gimmick or done for cheap thrills. But I think Avatar was the first to actually make you feel part of the movie rather than an outside spectator.

And there were elements in the story that were new. It is very rare that a movie can get you to side with aliens against humans. And I am not talking about sympathising with a few individuals like in District 9. I am talking about backing a completely different culture and way of life against your own people.

Also, I think that the aliens were giants, but not evil, was a new way to se things. Normally giant creatures are seen as mosters like trolls, ogres, demons, etc. Or if they are good they are still beasts like Chewbaka or good dragons. It is very rare for giants to be humanlike and be 1) good and 2) the underdogs 3) Physically attractive

Normally aliens are small or human sized. It is rare for a whole race of aliens to be giants like the Na'vi. Usually, to make us sypathise with the Alien, they have to be 1) Cuddly like Ewoks 2) Gooffy or 3) Human like but more physically beautiful than humans like elves or Asari.

But the Na'vi are nothing like the above. They are something new.

And the movie's approach to technology is different. You have technology fighting raw courage and strength and that is fascinating to see. In other movies we see mechs fighting mechs (transformers). Or if mechs are fighting against creatures, we are often on the side of mechs (Starshiptroopers, Aliens). But we are very rarely encourage to support the a non-technological force against the mechs piloted by humans.

Yet with all that, Cameron made it simple and hooked everyone on the two things that interests most people in one way or another: war and love.

He took the basic elements that work (action and love) and mixed them with all the new stuff mentioned above and came up with a potent mix.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel77 View Post
I think it is also the story. Although the story of Avatar has been told before many times, people still like to see this sort of story told and it was done in a different way with very well done special effects, a fully realized world, a new group of people to learn about (the Na'vi), etc. There is a combination of reasons why people went. I know that it wasn't just for the special effects. That would not have made it the biggest movie of all time by itself. The fact is that Avatar tells a simple story with heart and that is what draws many people .
Smashing job.

It's a classic story told extremely well, and it's not limited by technical capabilities. So all that we see is how it was meant to be, what more could one want from a movie?
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaplant View Post
Smashing job.

It's a classic story told extremely well, and it's not limited by technical capabilities. So all that we see is how it was meant to be, what more could one want from a movie?
That's right. We forget that most stories from our past are quite simple. That is why the greek myths and stories in religious scripture (e.g Jesus' Parables) live on today. Because the stories are simple.

The most popular stories are simple and even predicatable. Something that the intelligensia have never understood.

And Avatar has breathed life into the story and created a world that, not only looks real,but you want to be real.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neytirifanboy View Post
That's right. We forget that most stories from our past are quite simple. That is why the greek myths and stories in religious scripture (e.g Jesus' Parables) live on today. Because the stories are simple.

The most popular stories are simple and even predicatable. Something that the intelligensia have never understood.

And Avatar has breathed life into the story and created a world that, not only looks real,but you want to be real.
Exactly Neytirifanboy. Avatar is in the venerable and ancient tradition of myth and fable which is also why it tugs at everyone's heartstrings. It has so many elements of the most ancient of stories. Interestingly, it has echoes in the myths of Odin and Zeus and Shiva becoming an incarnation of something else and walking among men. Of course, this idea is present in Christianity as well. That is the meaning of the word "avatar" anyway. This idea is very ancient and is in many different myths around the world.

It is also true that most popular stories are variations on a stock set of stories. This has always been the case. Its the elites that snub these popular stories and in turn want to tell stories that have no heart in them, only weirdness and pain. Many of them don't understand nor appreciate beauty anymore. This is true with the masses as well. This is also another reason for Avatar's success. It is truly a beautiful film.


Sci-fi stories typically (not necessarily all the time) are dark and barren. Look at the "landscape" in the Matrix, Terminator, Blade Runner, etc, etc. Very dreary worlds. Very post-apocalyptic. However, Avatar gives us a different vision even though earth is also in the grips of a possibly post-apocalyptic sci-fi distopia.

Avatar gives us an edenic vision of beauty and connection which so many in this world today lack. The message ultimately is the call to connection, to reconnect with each other and with our environment. Also, there is a spiritual part of it as well. It reminded me of how I need to be more connected with God, and with the environment and other people. It reminded me that I need to love more. I think that many people, I hope are getting the message. It is sorely needed.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel77 View Post
Sci-fi stories typically (not necessarily all the time) are dark and barren. Look at the "landscape" in the Matrix, Terminator, Blade Runner, etc, etc. Very dreary worlds. Very post-apocalyptic. However, Avatar gives us a different vision even though earth is also in the grips of a possibly post-apocalyptic sci-fi distopia.
That is because most sci-fi is humanity-centric. The rest of the world is irrelevant and only goes to support the idea that we are somehow outside nature. They are concerned with worrying about humanity coming to an end, but don't really explain why we should be saved.

Avatar is about more than humanity. It is about our relationship with our world and not obsessed about saving humanity from some abstract threat.

In Avatar, the threat is real and comes from humans themselves. But the movie also gives a message of hope showing that we can save the world as well.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Vauktu View Post
However, negative word-of-mouth can do quite a lot as well. When news broke out about people getting depressed over the film, many went to see what all the hype was about. While this is not the kind of word-of-mouth that every movie should receive, it did give just about everyone a good reason to go see the film.
In a way, this is how I was drawn to seeing it for the first time. I read the CNN (I think) story (I try to keep up with the news) and saw the description of PAD and the quotes relating to it (from Eltu, wasn't it? Sorry Eltu if it was/wasn't).

This struck me, so many movies I have seen have left me feeling fundamentally "Meh". What there was here, was a a film so powerful it moved people into feeling PAD. How could I then deny myself this experience? Of course, I hadn't bargained on the fact that it would affect me so strongly too, that I would feel PAD, pine for Pandora and join an amazing community associated with the movie.

Surprises all around really.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:29 PM
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Sometimes I miss a movie because I like a female character. But I have never come away from a movie thinking "I know its not real but I will like to be there.", except with Avatar.

No matter how magical a world is like Wizard of Ozz, Lotr Star Wars, most people don't really imagine it is a world/Universe where they could or want to live.

In some, alien/fantasy worlds everyone is usually trying escape.

That's what Avatar does. It makes you want be in that world. And not only that, there is a gorgeous girl there to show you around too. What more do you want.

I think that is becasue Avatar is a non-technological Utopian sci-fi. That is very rare. Even where sci-fi is Utopic, technology plays a big part in that Utopia.
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