Though some would say that Avatar's much-hyped special effects look only marginally better than the ones in this amusing computer-animated dramatization of Tiger Wood's car crash, we still figured movie-theater owners would be excited, since it's basically their industry's last line of defense against video-game consoles and flat-screen TVs, widely presumed to be winning the war on house-leaving. Maybe not, though! Yesterday, Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group, the world's biggest theater chain, said that James Cameron's latest could earn "more than $250 million" domestically (which it had damn well better if its budget is anywhere near the $500 million the Times says it is), but downplayed its importance to the industry at large.
"I'm a little less of the opinion that Avatar is a game-changer," Miles said. "I think from a film technology perspective, there's a lot of enhancements that are going to benefit the industry, but 3D is going to be successful whether Avatar is successful or not," Miles said.
Strengthening her point about her business's certain success was that she also announced that ticket prices would go up by a hilarious 4 to 6 percent next year, twice the usual increase.