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Month: March 2021

Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 2

Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 2

This is a continuation of the previous post, as I review the ongoing comic series, Avatar: The Next Shadow. As we dive in to issue 2 you can still pre-order the final issue of the series at TFAW. The 4th issue releases on 4/14/21. This post will include spoilers, so if you haven’t read the comics yet please help support Avatar and Dark Horse and pick them up digitally, order them online, or pick them up from your local comic shop.

Issue 2 First Blood-Last Breath!-

“As tensions rise between the displaced Omatikaya clan and the remaining humans in the Hell’s Gate settlement, Jake Sully struggles to keep the peace. But Jake is unaware not only of a looming challenge to his authority, but of the treachery being planned by Tsu’tey’s parents…”

Issue 2 First Blood-Last Breath picks up with Arvok, son of Ateyo and Artsut, brother of the deceased Tsu’tey, hunting either a tetrapteron (fkio) or a sting bat (riti). We can see what Arvok is thinking as he hunts, he’s walking a path he didn’t choose, feeling that this should be Tsu’tey in his shoes, should he defy Toruk Makto or earn the favor of his parents? Arvok goes on to believe he doesn’t decide his own path, he walks the path that is shown, as he paints his face with war paint he decides he will follow this path to the end.

Next we see Katherine Hale again, issue 1 wasn’t Katherine’s first appearance, she also shows up in Avatar: Pandora Rising. Pandora Rising is a mobile game that hasn’t fully released world wide yet. I do love the cross over of characters from other Avatar media, it helps unify the world building. Katherine is with a small group of humans, including Norm Spellman, who has discovered the Na’vi have ruined even more of their mining equipment. She asks Norm to speak to Jake on their behalf to make sure he realizes the humans need cooperation with the Na’vi. Meanwhile the former RDA soldiers she is with blow off some steam of their own by further shooting the mining equipment.

Back at the Omatikaya village we meet Yeyongo, a Na’vi mother with a child who is badly hurt. Mo’at is there working with the former RDA doctors to help those who are wounded. Artsut shows up and refers to the humans as devils, which doesn’t sit well with Jake Sully who also has arrived. Even though Yeyongo is hesitant the former RDA doctors are able to help her wounded child.  Jake lets Mo’at know he couldn’t do this without her, and she tells him to worry about leading and she’ll worry about healing. She also reassures Jake that without him human and Na’vi wouldn’t be working together. Meanwhile Artsut starts to call Jake out on what she believes are the reasons he shouldn’t be leading. She continues on and calls out Mo’at and Neytiri for allowing Jake into the Omatikaya clan. Mo’at reminds her Tsu’tey chose Jake Sully to be his successor and that was Tsu’tey’s right. As Arvok appears it becomes evident he is there to challenge Jake, Mo’at explains the situation to Jake and soon the clan arrives to watch the challenger take on the Olo’ektukan. The rules of First Blood are simple, the first to draw a single drop of blood is the winner, and the outcome is binding. Meanwhile Ateyo is telling Arvok to keep going after he draws blood to humiliate Jake.

Jake Sully officially accepts the challenge from Arvok, as Arvok explains to him that his challenge stems from Jake being an outsider, and that he believes he has led the Omatikaya to ruin. Jake continues to take the challenge lightly and tries to joke with Arvok, however Arvok is serious and they begin to fight, each armed only with a knife. Jake easily defeats him, and purposely only draws a small amount of blood, enough to end the fight without major injury. Mo’at confirms Jake as the winner and confirms Eywa has chosen Jake yet again, but without warning Arvok throws his knife at Jake, which is poisoned without his knowledge. Jake catches the knife with ease but is cut, and quickly collapses due to the poison on the blade. Mo’at realizes he has been poised by Arvok, who quickly realizes what his parents have done without telling him, and with that we conclude issue 2.

 

Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 1

Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 1

As we wait for the 4th and final issue of the Avatar: The Next Shadow comic series, I wanted to do a recap of where the story has gone so far and the characters we’ve encountered. You can pre-order issue 4 right now at TFAW. I have really enjoyed the story, it’s been exciting for me because it takes place right after the movie. 11 years after the movie we finally have had a chance to see what Jake, Neytiri, and the Omatikaya Clan have been up to. This post will include spoilers, so if you haven’t read the comics yet please help support Avatar and Dark Horse and pick them up digitally, order them online, or pick them up from you local comic shop. So let’s jump in-

Issue 1

“Two weeks following the Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains, Hometree is in ruins. The recent loss of life and land weighs heavily among the Na’vi. Amid the continuing conflict with the humans, resentment between members of the Omatikaya intensifies.”

The first issue drops us right in with Jake who is visiting his former human body. We see his deceased body in a pile of dirt with plants already sprouting on top. Jake mentions he’s been in his new Avatar body for 14 days now, referring to when he passed through the eye of Eywa and became forever a Na’vi. Then Neytiri comes and tells him everyone is looking for him. The is the last we see of Neytiri for the next three issues though, as she is headed off to meet with Akwey and Ikeyni and their clans the Olangi and the Tayrangi.

Next we find out Jake has relocated the Omatikaya next to Hells Gate to try and forge a new future between the clan and the humans that are left. We see Norm Spellman, in human form, and meet Katherine Hale, another human. We also see Ka’ani again, who has had his backstory fleshed out more in the last comic series, Tsu’tey’s Path. Ka’ani isn’t happy with the humans who are still trying to mine Pandora, this time out of necessity to keep Hells Gate functioning. It takes Jakes leadership to make the humans and Na’vi both calm down. Although it’s obvious neither are happy with whats going on. Jake proposes no new mining for the time being and asks the humans to salvage what they can from the destroyed old RDA equipment. While this is a very temporary solution Jake is trying to buy time to smooth things over.

We then meet Tsu’tey’s family. His brother Arvok, his father Ateyo, and his mother Artsut. Ateyo works hard to convince Arvok he is the rightful leader of the Omatikaya and not Jake Sully. Arvok would rather follow Jake Sully and help make him the best leader he can be, but Ateyo insists that Arvok challenge Jake for the right of olo’eyktan. Ateyo tells him tradition allows for a challenge to an unfit leader by means of ritual combat. We then meet Artsut, and learn of the plan between Ateyo and Artsut to poison the knife blade Ateyo will be using against Jake. Their motives are revealed, they think this is the only way to get the Omatikaya people to a better future. With that the first issue concludes.

Some facts about the Avatar rerelease in China

Some facts about the Avatar rerelease in China

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) released an article today I found very interesting. First of all I’ve been seeing lots of comments about how Avatar was only released again in China to recapture the box office throne, that is false. THR had this to say about the re-release:

James Cameron only found out a few days beforehand that Avatar would be rereleased March 12 in China in a move that pushed his 2009 science-fiction epic back into the highest-grossing-film-of-all-time slot, not adjusted for inflation.

The China Film Board first reached out to Cameron and Disney in March 2020 about the possibility of rereleasing some older films as a way of encouraging theatergoing in a period when new product from both Hollywood and Chinese studios has been scant. Cameron offered Avatar and Titanic, both of which had been produced by Fox and are now owned by Disney.

While I had previously read about the plan to release Avatar last year, it’s very interesting there was almost no advance notice of the film be re-released by even James Cameron himself. It also speaks volumes how Avatar, a film that is over 11 years old, can go to the front of the worlds largest movie market with no promotion and be the countries #1 film it’s first weekend.

“Sure, it’s nice to reclaim the No. 1 spot, but what the rerelease signifies is that a 12-year-old title with no advance notice could open at No. 1 in the marketplace.”

-Jon Landau

Jon said it best, this bodes very well for the future of the Avatar sequels, and says a lot about the power on the first movie over a decade after it’s release. The movie is amazing in 3D and I’m glad the people of China are getting a chance to see it in all it’s glory once again.

The official numbers in so far is Avatar made 23.9 million from Fri-Mon, with no new numbers being available past Monday. 6.2 million were from IMAX theaters, and all showings were in 3D. I am very excited to see what Avatar can do this coming weekend, and happy to share some information to clear up some misconceptions about it’s return to Chinese theaters.

To read the full article from THR-https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/how-avatar-reclaimed-its-global-box-office-crown

 

Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, Again

Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, Again

As expected with the Friday China re-release, Avatar has retaken its crown of highest grossing movie of all time. Currently the unofficial box office numbers have Avatar with $2,798,579,794 and Endgame with $2,797,501,328. Avatar is currently projected to make $58 million off this reissue alone and is expected to release to 20,000 3D screens, of which 700 are IMAX. When Avatar first launched in China in 2009 there were only 14 IMAX screens in the entire country.

“I’m honored that ‘Avatar’ is a part of that reemergence of the cinema experience in China. We got to get the rest of the world caught up as well.”

-James Cameron

Avatar back in Chinese theaters this Friday

Avatar back in Chinese theaters this Friday

 

James Cameron may soon get his “Box Office King” moniker back. With Avatar securely in second place on the all time box office list, and just less than 7.4 million dollars behind Avengers: Endgame, it is set to head back to the theaters in China this Friday. We heard similar rumors a year ago when China’s Film Bureau approved the film to be re-released during the pandemic. However that release never happened, but seems as if it’s set to this week. China is attempting to jump start a slow restart to movie theater re-openings and Avatar should be a good way to help get it off the ground. I for one would be happy to see Avatar reclaim it’s throne. The year Avatar released China had only 4,700 movie screens in the country, it now has 75,000. Avatar was wildly successful in China with a fraction of the screens they now enjoy. Depending on a major few things, Chinese New Year, pandemic, and how widely available the re-release is we could see some very modest numbers or some really big numbers.

1 Avengers: Endgame $2,797,800,564 2019
2 Avatar $2,790,439,092 2009
3 Titanic $2,471,754,307 1997
4 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens $2,068,454,310 2015
5 Avengers: Infinity War $2,048,359,754 2018

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/09/avatar-rerelease-in-china-close-to-avengers-endgame-record.html

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/chart/top_lifetime_gross/?area=XWW

https://www.statista.com/statistics/279111/number-of-cinema-screens-in-china/

A new Grace Augustine photo and Happy International Women’s Day

A new Grace Augustine photo and Happy International Women’s Day

Avatar social media has shared several photos of the many women who’ve helped make Avatar a success in honor of International Women’s day. So first let me say thank you to all the amazing women out there, I hope you all have someone to appreciate you on this day of honor and recognition.

One of the photos posted today by Avatar was of Dr. Augustine. I did a little digging and we have seen her with what appears to be the same blue and white shirts while in The Shack. That leads me to believe this is a flashback scene, however how is she able to breath without a mask, is this a controlled environment she had on Pandora or are there areas the humans can breath without a mask, what kind of plant is this, it looks really interesting with that bright green light, is this going to be a flashback or will Grace be alive again some how?  The Avatar social media accounts haven’t made any mention of the new photo specifically so there doesn’t seem to be any new information on it just yet. I am heavily leaning towards flashback though.

Here we can see Grace in The Shack from a screenshot in Avatar 1. She appears to be wearing what seems to be the very same shirts just without the tan vest.

For good measure this was posted on 4/29/20 by Jon Landau. This one also looks like a flash back, again in The Shack. We saw Grace and Norm both wearing these clothes in Avatar 1. For reference Grace had this outfit on when she was shot by Quaritch, and Norm can be seen with his tank on during the final battle scenes.