Thursday, 7 January 2010

Reactions from the audience

The total gross of this film has shown how successful it has been. Comments left on popular social-networking sites have proven that this film is still being talked about and in some cases, being watched twice.

Uses and gratifications
Escapism - James Cameron has designed a whole new world, allowing the audience to experience new creatures, people, a language, sucking them into the beautiful world of Pandora. The amazing graphics have allowed the story between the Na'vi and the humans to be continuous, making it more real yet out of this world. Avatar has allowed the target audience to escape the real world and see a different world from a different view. However, some critics have stated that within this film, there has been similar scenes to those of soldiers in Vietnam, and that the portrayal of the humans had been negative. But it has made the audience realise and look at things in a different perspective and how we're not always the good guys.

Social - Since the film has been released, the topic of Avatar has been perfect for conversations. There is much to talk about, ranging from the atmosphere of Pandora, the storyline, the new and upcoming actors, and the stunning CGI effects. Also, it has allowed the audience to comment on social-networking sites to discuss issues about the film and share their thoughts. By doing so, other people who haven't yet seen the film, can read their own personal reviews, but from the high percentage of positive reviews, it can be predicted that Avatar will soon be a film that has been watched by everyone.

Entertainment - With its thrilling 3D graphics, this film is great entertainment for such a larger audience. It has something for everyone; great action, superb storyline, a whole new world for sci-fi enthusiasts, and romantic relationship and of course, CGI effects that everyone has been waiting for.

Target Audience

Target Audience of Avatar (James Cameron hopes that his target audience for this film is everyone, due to the extreme high cost of Avatar, "8 to 80")

  • Older male audience
  • Families with young children
  • Technology enthusiasts
  • Sci-Fi Buffs
  • Gamers
  • Teenagers (both males and females)
FOX have had to come up with a cleverly devised marketing campaign in order to reach their maximum target audience throughout the world.

20th Century Fox have been known to distribute other films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Ice Age 3, and other well-known successes. All these films have targeted a similar audience of teenagers and families, making FOX one of the best suited distributors for this film. Also, to help this film be targeted at the families and children, it has been certified with a 12A, allowing parents to take their children to see the film, even though it has a considerable amount of gun, violence and action content.

Currently in the cinemas, they have both Avatar and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 and are soon to release Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. When I went to see Avatar, both Alvin and Percy Jackson both had their full-length trailers shown, showing the clever marketing of FOX.

Through technology-convergence, the main sponsor of Avatar was LG, a global leader and technology innovator in consumer electronics.

"As exclusive brand sponsor of the film’s world premiere in London, LG will be involved in a range of activities designed to share the excitement of the red carpet with film fans and introduce the New LG Chocolate BL40 to a wider online community. The premiere promotions begin with YouTube Super Users mingling with celebrities and crowds inside and outside the theater, conducting exclusive interviews and later providing personal reviews of the new handset.

The following day, LG and Twentieth Century Fox will bring the excitement of the global premiere to an audience of millions of internet users via YouTube’s full-screen takeover promotion. For 24 hours across 15 countries, the entire YouTube homepage will be transformed with an Avatar masthead featuring the film’s trailer."

Through the Youtube marketing, the film was able to grab the attention of the whole audience on Youtube for a whole day with their trailer. Youtube's audience consists more of technology enthusiasts and the teenagers proven suitable to place the Avatar masthead, just days before the official release of the film.
The teenage audience were also targeted through popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and more. This was a good choice of marketing as people who had already seen the film could become a fan of the Avatar page, and whilst more and more people became fans, other Facebookers could see this happening on their Homepage and click on the link itself. On the Official Avatar page on Facebook, there are over 600,000 fans, most of them leaving their reviews and thoughts of the film through comments on the page. Looking through them, I can say that a high percentage of these were positive reviews whilst there was an odd one saying it was bad, with their reason being that it was too long.

The world premiere of Avatar which took place 8 days before the cinema release was significant in reaching the audience and informing them about this new film. The premier was shown on the BBC channel at 10pm reaching the older audience, parents and teenagers. To fit in with the theme of the blue-faced Na'vi, the premier had been aligned with a blue carpet, causing conversations between the audience who were present at the opening. This event was able to get people to start talking about the film through word of mouth which was the main point of having this premier, in London's Leicester Square.

Reactions and Reviews

Reviews from top film critics.

+ For true cinematic spectacle, Avatar is out of this world - Daily Telegraph

+ It's an impossible but completely plausible and seductive world that invites your total immersion. Don't resist it; sink in and fly with it. All Cameron asks is that you open your eyes. - TIME Magazine

+ It’s a world, not to give too much away, that Cameron clearly fully intends to return to and further explore. When he does, our bags are already packed. - Empire Magazine

- It's baggy, longwinded and, for all the light-speed imagery, just not quick on its feet. Cameron used to be the tautest film-maker around, but he just got slack. - Guardian UK
view from Sci-Fi U
"Nevertheless under the right conditions and as a technical feat Avatar is the real deal, the best use of 3D in cinema so far."
Rated 4/5
for the full review, click on the link -


One of the biggest aspects of Avatar which has made it currently so popular and highly successful is the talk of it's spectacular graphics and the extensive use of 3D graphics.

"The Oscar-winning director is famous for pushing the boundaries of technology in film and has long been an enthusiastic proponent of 3D technology. "Avatar" is the fruition of his long-held ambition to combine digital 3D with epic big screen storytelling."

It's no secret that Cameron conceived Avatar before he made Titanic, but waited a decade for technology to catch-up with his vision.

Every aspect of the alien world Pandora - the plants, insects, mountains and clouds - is computer-generated, but looks photo-realistic.

Some geeky facts: The creation of Pandora required over a petabyte (1m gigabytes) of digital storage.

By comparison, it took 2,000 gigabytes to create and sink the Titanic - about 1/500th of the amount used for Avatar.

James Cameron had waited a long time for the release of Avatar but when 3D soon become popular and more readily accessible in cinemas, he released his film to sold-out audiences.

"In the UK, the UK Film Council reports that around 320 out of 3,600 screens are digitally equipped, while in the U.S. the ratio is even worse. These figures are predicted to improve rapidly over the next few years."

This meant that for the film Avatar to reach a wider audience across the country, this film was also realised in 2D screens. However, they predicted that the takings from the 2D screens would be significantly less, FOX believed that it would still grab an audience whether it be people who weren't convinced that there would be much difference between the 3D and 2D versions and hence not worth paying extra, or for people who didn't have access to a 3D screen.

Cameron argues vociferously that movies have to play well in both 2D and 3D; that a narrative should work whether it's shot as a black and white silent or as a 3D color epic.

But, says Cohen, there's more to the issue than Cameron is letting on. Films are made differently for 3D -- different lenses, different depth of field, different pace of editing.

For example, action sequences which traditionally have fast cutting are edited more slowly because the eye and the brain cannot process stereoscopic cinema as fast as 2D.

This is an interesting argument as even though the film itself attracted an audience of film buffs and technology fanatics, it may have been less appealing to an audience who were only watching because of all the action, violence and guns. Therefore, I believe that James Cameron was able to make a comprise without realising the needs of the various target audience and that he was successful in creating a mix of 3D graphics and decent-paced editing. Personally, when I watched the film, I thought the action scenes were spectacular and I'm a huge fan of action and war films and this film seemed to reach my expectations.

Facts & Figures on the Cinema release of Avatar.

Global opening weekend for Avatar took place between the 18-20th December 2009.

Number of cinemas – 503 Total Gross - £8,509,050.00

Competing films that were released on the same weekend were St. Trinians 2, Nine and Humpday.

Based on site averages, Avatar did amazingly well, with its site average being 5 times as much St Trinians, which was the ranked second on that weekend.

3rd weekend (1-3 Janurary 2010)

Number of cinemas – 493 Total Gross - £32,815,618.00

Avatar’s site average had dramatically dropped two weeks later, yet it has still remained the top film for the weekend.

Second week running films including Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 were still unable to top Avatar’s takings that week, showing the high popularity of the film.

For full box-office taking table, click on the pictures below.

Box Office Takings table.

Exhibition of Avatar in the UK

“UK cinemas get a taste of Avatar”- article

Lucky cinema-goers in the UK were able to experience 15 minutes of the new film, Avatar, all in 3D, at free-previews around the country.

The BFI Imax in Central London, which is home to the biggest cinema screen, was able to host one of these previews.

On a Friday morning, both Amanda Nevill (BFI Director) and Chris Green (20th Century Fox distributor) welcomed the audience.

Quote from Chris Green - “was a “really special project” with an “amazing” story enhanced by state-of-the-art technology”

Quote from Londoner Seb –“the result was akin to “riding a simulator”. “I felt sick watching the 3D footage," said Mr King, who was nonetheless impressed by the "fantastic" visuals.

From this article, I can summarise that the first previews of the film, Avatar, were proven to be hugely successful. And by doing so, 20th Century Fox Distributors were able to use these screenings as a chance to start good word of mouth. From these positive reviews, these viewers would have started to spread their thoughts and feelings to friends and families, getting them excited for the release of the film on the 18th of December 2009.

Link to full article -