Monday, 4 January 2010

Facts and Figures

Initial release date: Dec 17, 2009

Directed by: James Cameron

Estimated budget: 500,000,000 (US$)

Produced by: Jon Landau, James Cameron

Screenplay by: James Cameron

Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
  • Currency Amount Valid Date US $ 268,886,074 Dec 30, 2009

  • Estimated budget: Currency Amount US $500,000,000

  • Soundtrack: Avatar: Music from the Motion Picture

  • Featured Song: I See You (Theme_from_Avatar)

  • Film format: 3-D film

  • Production companies: 20th Century Fox
    Lightstorm Entertainment

  • Distributors: 20th Century Fox

  • Setting: Hometree

Posted: Ciara

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

6) How have audiences responded and reacted to the film?

Audience reactions

The film has been distributed to 106 countries across the globe, demonstrating the scale of its success.

In the UK the film was released on the 17th of December.

The main response and hype surrounding the film was the fact it was 3D. Avatar was seen as a new development within the film industry. 3D movies are not a new concept, but Avatar was one of the first wide scale distributed films in 3D. (Others include G Force).


As Cameron says (27seconds) the audience 'want something big new and fresh'. He also speaks about how there haven't been many films out for a while that are the 'beginning of a franchise'. Avatar aimed to do this.

Many reviews suggests that Avatar is the start of a new era within the film industry.

A review on Gizmodo website said:
'Avatar is the most visually fantastic film I've ever seen. It will be hailed as the groundbreaking 3D release of its time while setting a new standard by which all blockbusters are measured'.

The Edinburgh review website:
'The new 3D technology Cameron’s created which gives a more realistic sensation of depth perception (three focal planes from close, mid and distant horizon) are clearly the beginning of a revolution in the way films will be made from now. '

3D will enable big budget organisations such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount to set themselves apart from amateur directors. The development in technology over the past 10 years has allowed low budget films to become a success (films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity demonstrate this.) This is because cameras and editing equipment has become cheaper and better quality.

The reviews of Avatar are an example of cross media convergence. Reviews have been broad casted on the radio, as shown in the link above. This broadcasting increases reach, and positive reviews encourage people to go and see the movie for themselves.

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
Best Action Movie
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Editing
Best Makeup
Best Picture
Best Sound
Best Visual Effects
James Cameron - Best Director

Golden Globes, USA

Best Director - Motion Picture James Cameron
Best Motion Picture - Drama
Best Original Score - Motion Picture James Horner
Best Original Song - Motion Picture James Horner
Simon Franglen
Kuk Harrell For the song "I Will See You".


The main type of reviews of Avatar are positive. However, as with every film, Avatar has received some negative feedback.
Allows people to share their thoughts on films and discuss their opinions. If the film receives positive reviews this is a good way of free marketing. Positive reviews encourage other people interested in film to go and see the film.
On this website there are hundreds of reviews:

Negative review 1:
'Cameron's technical wizardry far outstrips his narrative capability, and the last third of the picture goes full-tilt into action mode, blitzing all before it with aerial explosions and hand-to-hand combat.'

Negative review 2 (and top critic on this site):
'Cameron’s signature achievement may have been to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the oldest of all Hollywood maxims: all the money in the world is no subsitute for fresh ideas and a solid script.' (Tom Huddlestone, Time out)

Negative review 3:
'At times it's wince-inducingly weak, and no amount of lush visuals can disguise that. Nor can they disguise how second-hand everything feels.' (Alistair Harkness)

Posted: India

5)Who is the target audience and how have they been targeted in the UK?

The target audience in the UK are Sci-Fi enthusiasts, people interested in development of media and males.

The films have been targeted to reach these audiences.
Reviews on Sci-Fi sites such as appeal to Sci-Fi fans directly and this is a way of narrow casting to this specific audience.
There are numerous links a fan can follow that tell them more about the film, including reviews and the technology behind the film.

There are also links to the games on this site. People who are interested in the development of technology can follow the development of the game itself.
Video Sci Fi UK

This cross media convergence gives the distributors a greater reach. The filmmakers and game developers collaborated heavily, and Cameron decided to include some of Ubisoft's vehicle and creature designs into the film. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game was released on December 1, 2009, for most home video game consoles (PS3, X Box360, Wii, Nintendo DS, IPhone). The game appealed to young males. People who had played the game would want to go and see the film.

The link with LG also helped to promote the film and directly target people who were interested in the development of technology.

Moreover, people were able to download pictures, screen savers and trailers to their IPods and phones. This was another way to get people talking about the much hyped film. It also appealed to technologically minded people and allowed the movie to be accessed at anytime, anywhere.

The premier in The Odeon in Lestier Square also was important in targeting the audience. The hype around the film was massive and much talked about. The Premier exploited this, and made more people aware of the film. The premier was shown on BBC News at 10. This broad casted the release of the film, reaching massive audiences. The blue carpet used, instead of the usual Red carpet was also a talking point and made this premier stand aside from others.

The 12A certificate also allowed the film to be targeted at families. The release during the Christmas period meant many families would be visiting the cinema. The 12A certificate allowed families to attend.


4) Where and how is the film being exhibited in the UK?

Release Date: December 18th 2009

Budget: $200 million (estimated)

Director: James Cameron

  • 10 days after the release of the film was when i first went to the cinema to see Avatar at Finchley Vue all screenings that night were fully booked proving that the exhibition has been a very popular and has become a must see film.

  • The exhibition of Avatar has taken the UK by storm and quoted by a sci-fi film review website

    "In the post Star Wars era we're all pretty adept to taking the hype that surrounds blockbuster movies with a pinch of salt,but rarely does a film come along with the balls to suggest its going to change the face of cinema forever"

  • Avatar exhibition is working in synergy with the marketing of the film by targeting the right audiences they are able to draw in alot of attention and making people want to see the film therfore making a big profit


  • Avatar is being exhibited in cinemas all over the UK however is also being exhibited in the Imax this draws in a much larger audience. As 3D technology is quite new the Imax has brought in alot of money for the film and has also given a good platform to allow the audience to see and experience Avatar how the director and Fox wanted it to be seen.

  • Avatar is also being exhibited in 2D this allows for a wider range of audiences to be able to see it and therefore can be exhibited in many different cinemas

  • For example in Finchley Vue it is being shown in 2 screenings in 2D and 1 screening in 3D as 3D screening is more expensive they are still allowing people to see the film in both options and can cope with deamds at cinemas

  • Avatar is also taken up the most screenings in many main cinemas plying each hour


  • Big-budget science-fiction film Avatar has repeated its US success by topping the UK box office charts, it has been confirmed.

  • The James Cameron film took £8.5 million in its first weekend on release in the UK to easily top the UK and Ireland chart.

  • Avatar (2009)
    £3,828,123-weekend total
    2 weeks
    485 screens
    £7,893 weekend screen avg
    £18,404,659 cummulative box office

  • Piracy has already become an issue with Avatar as people have leaked clips all the whole film online aloowing people to stream. However when in have looked at some of the piracy copies you are obviously unable to watch the film in the 3D and in my opinion this is what makes Avatar one of the best films. Without going to the cinema you are unable to get the full experience and especially with Avatar the way it's been exhibited is key to getting the full depth and understanding you need to enjoy the film.

Posted: Ciara

3) How has the film been marketed to ensure it successfully reaches it's target audience?

Synergy with different technologies

LG is partnering with Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment to create an elaborate marketing campaign teeming with mobile components to help promote the release of Avatar.

A high tech marketing campaign has been set up. Including:

  • visually striking television ads

  • an interactive micro site,, which includes exclusive movie content

  • a wide variety of digital offerings from the movie

LG Mobile Phones are aiming to give users their own Avatar-like experience through what the company calls “the advanced projection capabilities of LG eXpo, which allows users to digitally project their own images, videos, and documents – anywhere, anytime, and to anyone.”

Coke Zero Avatar

  • The coke zero advert uses the branding of coke which is a popular mainstream name that is known all over the world. By doing this they are marketing Avatar by capturing a broad audience. They make it seem as if by drinking coke you enter the world of ‘Pandora’. They have merged Avatar with other successful brands such as LG and Coke allowing wider distribution outlets. This campaign is put on facebook, which is then seen as direct marketing and is a way of broadcasting to large audiences very cheaply. The coke and avatar synergy allows the audience to interact and allows both companies to benefit profit wise.

Viral Campaign

  • On the viral campaign website we are able to recruit to be able to go into Pandora. It’s testing the target audience and as the main target audience are sci-fi fans and boys this would interest them. The campaign allows cross media convergence and synergy as they promote coke, parts of the film links to facebook and twitter. They also allow audience interaction as you can leave comments about the film and are able to recruit.

The Avatar Game


  • The games industry has become competition for the film industry so Avatar has decided to join together creating a game

  • Both companies have worked together therefore Ubisoft and Fox have worked in symbiosis to promote their products

  • The target audience of the gaming industry is predominately male and are usually interested in technologys, this relates to the Avatar film

  • By releasing the Avatar game this staright away creates a buzz and makes the game player want to go and see the film
“This is a high-quality licensed game. It will be a much higher quality product than most movie tie-in games to date. And when the film comes out? Pandemonium.


  • The main focus was on a heavyweight TV campaign run by Ubisoft, designed to reach the broadest audience possible. Ubisoft is aimed to reach 71 per cent of 16 to 34-year-old males, estimating that each will see the ads an average 3.8 times.
    Ads run around key programming that targeted boys, dads and movie fans. The publisher has arranged a two-phase campaign that will see game-specific ads intertwined with Fox’s marketing of the movie, ensuring that there was plenty of exposure throughout December.


  • The Game appeared in ads across all Official magazines, expanding onto sites of specialist and mainstream interest online. Overall, Ubisoft wanted to rack up 12 million impressions throughout November and December.

  • The film Avatar has been displayed on many billboards, posters and has been the background of youtube this reaches out to a big audience-broad casting. This more aims to reach families and not narrow casting marketing


  • The trailer shows the amount of technology used it shows small clips and relies on the specatacular scenery to entice the audience rather then using audience like 'Paranormal Activity'

  • It gives alot of information and we hear the dialogue between characters

  • There is music playing the background

  • There is titles to tell us off what Cameron has also directed this use of marketing brings in a big audience as all his previous films have been very popular making people want to go and see his new film


  • The premier took place on the 10th of December in Leister Square Odeon and they used a blue carpet to compliment the film. The celebrity’s status of the film also brings fans of the celebrities along with the target audience generating more profit. The celebrities have also done interviews e.g./ T4 that then creates word of mouth and markets the film further in order to create success

  • Cast :Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi , Joel Moore

  • Director -James Cameron

All of the above marketing techinques are not all veritcally intergrated but they work in symbiosis to grab the target audience.


2) How has the UK theatrical distribution of the film been managed in order to ensure the film's success in the UK?

The distribution of a film is highly competative to launch and to sustain a film in the industry. Avatar however has done very well so far with one of the biggest budgets ever used to make a film the distribution of Avatar was key to it's success and key to maximimsing it's potential:

  • The distributor of Avatar was 20th Century Fox

  • It is one of the major distributors in America

  • 20th Century Fox was also responsible for Avatar's production

  • The main link was the cinema realease on December the 18th 2009

  • It got relelased in 507 cinemas in the UK so went for a saturation release in many cinema's playing more then 2 screens

  • Due to new technologys this has impacted greatly on the film distribution allowing not only 2D screenings but also 3D screenings so a digital and analogue release

  • Avatar has been released in the Imax tickets were sold out almost immediately as the huge screens compliment the techincal side of Avatar. Therefore the Avatar film and Imax are working in symbiosis. Imax and Avatar are both making a profit from it

"Camerons incredible vision and passion for pushing the technological boundaries of filmaking, combined with a superb marketing and distribution campaign from Twentieth Century Fox has created an epic realease that we are very proud to be a part of "

  • 20th Century Fox is a large distributor and has been responsible for many films recently eg:

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2

Jenifers Body

You Can't Handle the Truth

Ice Age 3

Night at the Museum

This allows us to see that Fox caters for a wide audience of different ages and genders which works well for Avatar as they have targeted a boys audience as the main TA aswell as large audience such as families.

  • The realease date of Avatar was held until the christmas period this allowed the run up to the film to be widely spread generating and creating lots of hype using marketing techniques. The christmas period is one of the major times for a realeas of a film and it worked well for a big opening of the film. This allowed for all audience types to be able to watch the film such as families, teenagers, and adults bringing in greater profits and reaching out all audiences.
  • The film was also able to play on star statue. With big names broadcast with the film immediately this grabbed people's attention and audiences who were fans of the celebrities were interested
  • Competetion was also key in the UK theatrical distribution-films that were realeased at the same time were Alvin and the Chipmunks 2,St trinians 2,Humpday and Nine. Alvin and the Chipmunks was distributed by Fox aswel therfore targeted more of a younger generation therefore as Avatar did not so much appeal to the younger audience they could recoup money by Alvin and the Chipmunks. Overall the competition was low as Avatar was a big blockbuster whereas the other film were lower budget.

Link to 20th Century Fox-


1) How was the film produced to appeal to the audience


Fox was mainly responsible for funding the production costs. However, as Avatar was such a big budget film (and consequently a high risk investment) investor groups Dune Capital Management and Ingenious Film Partners helped Fox hedge the risk. (It is estimated that Avatar cost between $200 million and $500 to produce and market.)
James Cameron, writer and director of the film was keen to invest in new technologies (3D) and also invested his money into the production of this film. He saw the
Fox is bearing the cost of the marketing budget, which is estimated to be about $150 million. however, this big budget on marketing is essential to bring in the audiences needed to generate a return on the film.

New Technologies

Continuing to develop new technology as he went along, Cameron also devised a 'virtual camera', a hand-held monitor that allowed him to move through a 3D terrain.
This, Cameron said, allowed him to create 'the ultimate immersive media', which he anticipates will exceed any and all expectation.
In essence, this allowed Cameron to direct the film as if it was computer game. If he wanted to change the viewpoint, he could click a few buttons on a mouse and a computer would redraw the virtual world from the new perspective.
Of course, the film is making a buzz because of this technology, but Cameron is keen to stress that film, as ever, is about story, and the aim is not to bamboozle and distract viewers with special effects.Read more:

Fox invested in new technologies. The film was filmed with special 3D cameras, which have have been licensed for use in other films, including 2008’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D and The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. 3D is not new in the cinema world.

There are numerous IMax cinemas across the UK (including the ones in London Waterloo which holds almost 500 people). however, Avatar appealed to a much larger audience because it allowed 3D cinema to be experienced in cinemas across the UK (not just specialised 3D cinemas).

3D technology is not a new concept in the world of film. However Avatar offered the audience something different. 3D in cinema is now becoming much more widespread and more readily available. In this way Avatar has kept up with changing consumer demands and provided them with something new and exciting. Over recent years audiences have become much more demanding because of the increasingly large choice. Avatar is set aside from other movies because it offers something different.

Avatar is also a taste of what is to come in the world of movies. ‘A 3D event movie built on pioneering technology that would revolutionise the cinema experience’. (empire magazine article).

Moreover, Avatar is ..’an attempt to turn the gimmicky technology into big business’ (review, Sci-Fi website). James Cameron said that The Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ridiculed the world of 3D movies. He hoped to demonstrate how well a film could be executed in 3D.

'One of the biggest concerns with 3D in this day and age is that filmmakers will lose their original storytelling aptitude when they're shooting for 3D because they then focus entirely on that aspect. With Cameron, he made sure to consider the overall impact of 3D before moving forward in production.'

The film was produced in 3D and its main intention was to viewed in 3D. However, the film also has showings in 2D across the country. This gives people the option and therefore has a wider reach.

Target audience, and secondary audience
The films target audience was Sci-Fi enthusiasts, the big budget film (around $280 million) aimed to attract this audience.

However because of the way the film was produced it attracted a huge secondary audience including

  • people interested in technology, who want to experience movies in 3D and become part of the new era of 3D films

  • families - the film was cleverly constructed to be appeal to a families (these are the main audiences for films in general). As the film is a 12A families have been able to enjoy the movie. This brought in increased revenue which was essential

  • teenage boys, men - interest in action movies (this film also fits under the action genre).

This wider reach was essential in enabling the film to profit. Huge numbers of people would need to view the film for the film makers to gain a return because it had such a big budget.

The importance of the Director in Production
The film was written and directed by James Cameron, a world renowned director. He was responsible for the film Titanic (which had the biggest budget ever at the time of release). Titanic was such a huge success. This boosted his career. Film enthusiasts will want to view the film because it was produced by such a well known and well admired director.

Posted: India