'Avatar' Collects US$3.5m at Midnight Launch
DEC 18, 2009 - Right out of the gate, James Cameron's Avatar is galloping at a steady and promising pace, collecting US$3.537 million at approximately 2,000 sites in North America at its midnight launch yesterday.
The midnight figure, according to Boxofficemojo.com, is really nothing to shout about considering that two of this year's sequels, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince collected US$26.3 million and US$22.2 million respectively at their midnight launch. However, these sequels have a huge fan base unlike Avatar which has no predecessor.
If history is anything to go by, Cameron's films thrive on the 'long haul'. His 'Titanic' grossed US$8.7 million on its opening day, the equivalent of US$14 million adjusted for ticket price inflation. That was a blockbuster kick-off in those days, but it, of course, had legendary longevity as well, ultimately becoming the highest-grossing movie ever at US$600.8 million.
Titanic had repeat audiences - some watching the movie three or four times - and from the looks of it, Avatar too will have repeat viewership. The state-of-the-art motion-capture techniques and the magical wonders of its moon, Pandora, are bound to bring viewers and fans back to the cineplex.
No one dared to confirm but Avatar is rumoured to cost a bomb - anything between US$250 million to US$300 million. Cameron, in an interview with a movie magazine, said he is not bothered about the cost or its gross. For him it is getting his dream project out in the market - and for that we salute him.