When James Cameron and Fox announced back in late July that they would be unleashing free screenings of the (then) highly anticipated film Avatar on August 22, we initially surmised that Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds would suffer at the box office as legions of James Cameron disciples decided to eschew Nazis for Na’vis. Well, what a difference a month makes! First, we learned that Avatar Day was being downsized to something closer resembling Avatar Hour, and then the film’s trailer hit the Internet on Thursday to a reception that could optimistically be described as middling. So, now that we know that Basterds is a huge hit, the only question remaining is this: What did people think of Avatar?
Well, as always, that depends on who you ask! The normally fanboy-friendly website CHUD spent some time dissecting both Twitter comments and their own message boards and determined that a number of theaters showing the footage were only half full, a claim which was also reiterated by First Showing’s Alex Billington and indieWIRE’s Anne Thompson. And for those people that actually did make it out to a screening, reactions seemed to have dimmed considerably since the rapturous response it received at Comic-Con. In particular, Jeffrey Wells said it “wasn’t quite as vivid and needle-sharp-looking as the 3-D San Diego reel.” Hmmm, sounds like Fox made a mistake by not supplying the audience with free pizza.
So, what did you think, VultureWatchers? Did you go to a screening? What did you think of the footage? Or why did you skip? You know where to leave your thoughts!
A Look Back at Avatar Day and What Lies Ahead for Fox [First Showing]