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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/

Behind the scenes and set photos from the last few months

Behind the scenes and set photos from the last few months

Since I last covered the behind the scenes and set photos that have been posted by Avatar, Jon Landau, and James Cameron, and as I always say, three accounts you should be following, there has been several exciting ones posted, so lets dive in!

This is Britain Dalton (Lo’ak) doing underwater motion capture, it looks like he is possibly riding something under the water, maybe an Ilu from Pandora’s oceans, which we will be seeing in the sequels. We have seen very little of Lo’ak so far and know almost nothing about his character at this point, besides the fact he is Jake and Neytiri’s second oldest child. He has an older brother, Neteyam, and a younger sister Tuktirey.

This is Kate Winslet, who is going to be playing Ronal. Little is known about her character so far, what we do know is that in 2017 James Cameron had this to say about Kate, “She plays a character who’s part of the Sea People, the reef people.” Kate was recently on Stephen Colbert and had this to say about her character when the photo was taken, “That’s actually a birth giving ceremony, that my character, who is a water goddess, is essentially hosting. ” She also confirmed to Colbert that she is in Avatar 2 and 3.

How interesting, one can only speculate with what we know about Ronal, but it sounds like she may be part of the new Metkayina Clan, described as a reef people Na’vi clan, who dwell on giant oceanic atoll reefs under the rule of a leader named Tonowari. Perhaps she is their Tsahìk or something entirely different than a Na’vi. I know this, she is a very talented actress and I am excited to learn more about her character.

 

Next we have two images of the character Javier “Spider” Socorro, played by Jack Champion. What we know about Spider so far is that he is a teenage human born at the Hell’s Gate military facility. The second photo really intrigues me, no new information is shared with it apart from it being a thank you from Jon Landau to Jack, as Spiders filming was complete. The first one is Jack rehearsing for a scene.

Judging by the second photo alone he looks to be very Tarzan like. Wild, matted hair, little clothing, even his movements look like they could be similar to that of a primate. I am very intrigued by this character, how he fits in, why he appears to possibly be off living away from humans. Does he survive on Pandora without a mask? Is he an ally to the Na’vi?

Another great photo from the sequel rehearsals as James Cameron shows part of the cast some concept art. Sadly a lot of it hanging on the wall is edited out. From Left to Right, CCH Pounder (Mo’at), Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Cliff Curtis (Tonowari), Sigourney Weaver (Grace Augustine/unknown), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), Oona Chaplin (Varang), Stephen Lang (Col Quaritch/unknown), Joel David Moore (Norm Spellman), and James Cameron.

It’s really great seeing a couple new faces mixed in with the old ones. I would love to know who Sigourney and Stephen are going to play. I believe Stephen will be back as Colonel Quaritch in some manner, perhaps as a clone. He was a fantastic villain and I look forward to seeing how they bring him back. Will we see Grace in some flashbacks as well as her new character? I believe we already have seen proof of that. Jon shared a photo you can read about HERE that mentions them being back in The Shack for the sequels and showing himself with Grace and Norm. It will be interesting to see. My gut still tells me she will be the “voice of eywa” or something similar, however I’ve noticed something in the next photo that makes me question my gut…

Here we see Sigourney doing underwater motion capture. Something I noticed though is it looks like the blue “rope” coming from her head is representing a Na’vi queue. Sigourney is on record of saying she doesn’t play the same character, which can mean a lot of things, especially in science fiction, but I feel like she very well may be a Na’vi or Avatar again, as well as being Grace in flashbacks.

James Cameron captioned this photo as- “The last set for 2020 filming —The Matador (a 50’ forward command boat) on a 16-ton, 360 degree motion-control base.” If you remember back in May of this year we saw another photo of The Matador, HERE, it was from up above and more clear. An interesting note, this ship also says “CET-OPS” on it, we’ve now seen that on multiple vessels from the sequels as it is confirmed to be on the Crabsuit as well. I am curious if that is a just another branch of SEC-OPS from the first movie, possibly they handle the aquatic portions of Pandora. Speaking of SEC-OPS…

Jon Landau had this to say about these two photos- “Garrett Warren, 2nd Unit Director, gives stuntman Steve Brown some notes before a take.” This is interesting, this is the second time we see Steven Brown, the previous time was the photo with General Ardmore (Edie Falco) and Dorman (Kevin Dorman), on the factory ship Sea Dragon. He is directly behind General Ardmore, you can see that HERE. In this photo Steve’s uniform gives off a very naval vibe, with blue and safety orange.

James Cameron captioned this as, “Three Technocranes and a Russian Arm mounted on top of a Mercedes-Benz. Just another day on the set of the Avatar sequels.” Wow, I would love to know what they are filming with the Mercedes. I’ve seen lots of behind the scenes using vehicles like this and it’s normally car chase sequences, so it is interesting to think how it may be used in the sequels. If you look at the photo right before this it would appear that the Russian arm and camera from the Mercedes is being used to film that shot. So possibly they are using it to get close to film particular shots of the large boat sets.

Jon Landau captioned this as, “Celebrating the wrap of live action photography—with Jemaine Clement, Brendan Cowell and James Cameron. Congrats to the entire crew in both New Zealand and Los Angeles. Incredible work!” It sounds like Avatar 2 is headed to post production with almost two years to get things finished to the level James Cameron envisions.

Avatar: The High Ground new information

Avatar: The High Ground new information

I’ve come across a couple of additional bits of information for the much anticipated Avatar: The High Ground, the paperback book series which we first discussed back in October of 2019. If you need a refresher on what we knew check out this article-http://avatarsequels.com/avatar-the-high-ground/

The United Arab Emirates Amazon site has the book listed as-James Cameron’s Avatar: The High Ground Volume 1 Advent To War. That aligns with what we had already known, that the book was a series of three, so now we have the name of book one. AE Amazon also confirms the page length of being 96 pages, the same as the UK listing showed, and has the same ISBN numbers. Sadly no new information on the release as it shows the original date of 1/23/20. Hopefully after Avatar: The Next Shadow finishes up we will get more information on when The High Ground will release. Nick noticed that two of the pieces of character art from the Avatar: The Next Shadow Q&A showed two new Na’vi, and it looks like in the top left corner it says “High Ground.” So I believe we have a couple pieces of character art from the upcoming series. Thanks for the eagle eye on noticing that Nick. Pentyarus page shows is it from book 1, and neither character showed up in The Next Shadow issue 1.

Happy 5th Anniversary of the Toruk-The First Flight Premiere

Happy 5th Anniversary of the Toruk-The First Flight Premiere

To celebrate the fifth year anniversary of Toruk-The First Flight premiere I wanted to share some of my favorite images and characters from the production. Toruk was truly a spectacle, rivaling Avatar the movie in the emotions it conveyed, and the amazing visuals. There is nothing quite like seeing a mighty Toruk flying right in front of you, watching a viperwolf run by, or watching the Na’vi on Pandora with your own eyes. I can’t thank everyone who performed in, or worked on this enough for all of the wonderful memories. It really touched many of us deeply. Five short years later a lot has changed for the worst for the performers who brought us so much joy, many of their professional lives are currently a struggle due to COVID, here is to a better 2021 for them all.

Toruk was a prequel and took place thousands of years before the movie. We were introduced to new clans, characters, music, fauna, and the very first Toruk Makto. It is a story of Ralu and Entu as they grown and realize their destiny-

Ralu (originally played by Jeremiah Hughes & Gabriel Christo), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, is the son of a formidable hunter who taught him exceptional focus and discipline. Ralu is a sensitive and compassionate boy on the brink of adulthood. Although he is only 14 years old (in Earth years), there is a calm and quiet force about him that underscores his carefree attitude. Always on the lookout for his childhood friend and protégé Entu, Ralu is a natural born leader. Whenever the going gets tough, he channels all his energy and skills into the challenge at hand and invariably gets the job done. Just ask Entu, whom Ralu once saved from certain death by luring away a thanator during archery practice deep in the rainforest. No wonder everybody rallies behind Ralu – his is a doer and a thinker with a heart of gold!

Entu (Originally played by Daniel Crispin, Guillaume Paquin), Member of the Omaticaya Clan, lost both of his parents early in life in a freak attack by a thanator. He is the same age (14 years old in Earth years) as his lifelong friend Ralu – his mentor – with whom he has always engaged in a healthy competition that has definitely kept him on his toes. Spunky and intense, Entu is fully in touch with his emotions and knows to follow and trust his instincts. One day, when a member of his clan ventured too far out on a cliff edge and was left dangling on a limb, Entu instantly concocted an ingenious counterweight device using his pack, a sturdy branch and some vines to lower himself down the mountain face and save the boy, showing total disregard for his own safety. With his quick wit and dauntless spirit, Entu is eager – and ready – to dive headlong into the adventures that lie ahead.

Tsyal (originally played by Giulia Piolanti & Zoé Sabattié), Member of the Tawkami Clan, is the only child of a village chief who lost her mother at a tender age. She was raised by her grandmother with the help of other members of her clan, as is the custom among the Na’vi. Highly proficient in herbal lore, her grandmother was a chemist widely revered among the Tawkami for her unique remedies and concoctions. Tsyal’s clan is renowned throughout the land for their knowledge of chemistry and alchemy, and the abilities she inherited from her grandmother are transmitted every two generations through a special bond among clan members. Spurred by her grandmother’s legacy and wanting to live up to the expectations bestowed upon her, Tsyal has taken great pride in creating innovative mixtures and recipes of her own. True to her clan nestled deep inside the primeval forests of Pandora, this easygoing, sprightly girl with an indomitable spirit has a cheerful nature and loves to play tricks. With a mere seed, she can put the fiercest beast to sleep; with the frailest-looking flower, she can induce the most beautiful dreams or provoke the most terrifying nightmares. Such is the tremendous power of the natural elements that Tsyal and her clan have learned to understand and harness.

The Storyteller (originally played by Raymond O’Neil), an Anurai, is one of the last surviving members of this clan. He has been around humans – aka the Sky People – ever since he met a feisty xenobotanist with whom he forged a powerful friendship back in the 2140s. Several years later, the Storyteller witnessed firsthand the last time of Great Sorrow during which the Omaticaya Hometee was destroyed. Distressed by the discord among the clans on his home world, and learning how humans were tearing each other apart in the wake of the great climatic upheavals on Earth, the resilient Storyteller decided to reach out once more to the Sky People who saw him as a kind of translator and a wise go-between. By making humans aware of the bravery, valor and ingenuity of the Na’vi, he seeks above all to avoid history from repeating itself. He also aims to impress upon the Sky People the urgency of preserving their bonds with nature, and the necessity of pulling together to live in unity and peace.

*This was the original background of The Storyteller, however at the end of the show The Storyteller mentions he is telling his own story, because he is an older Entu. The reason behind the change per Jeremiah Hughes (Ralu) was that Raymond didn’t feel the connection to the character or story. So the characters background was changed to him being an older Entu and from the Omatikaya clan. So the very first Toruk Makto is the one telling his story, the story of the first Toruk Makto.

The Shaman (originally played by Cumie Dunio who was injured before the premiere and replaced by Priscilia le Foll), the Shaman has a vision seeing Vitrautral, the Tree of Souls, surrounded by a lake of liquid fire, Our most sacred place-our direct link to Eywa-is burning!

Anurai Clan Chief Stacey Magiera

Tipani Clan Chief Lisanna Ohm

Omatikaya Clan Chief Christian Sanchez

Tawkami Clan Chief Nick Beyeler

Kekunan Clan Chief Viktor Franyo

Ralu

Entu

Tsyal

Viperwolf

Direhorse

Austrapede

Turtapede

Woodsprites

Toruk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Avatar Day 2020

Happy Avatar Day 2020

Well friends today is 12/18 meaning Avatar released in 2009 in the United States 11 years ago today. I can’t believe it has already been a year since we celebrated the 10th anniversary with the official Avatar account on twitter. I am celebrating 11 years by re-watching that stream. If you missed that, or just want to go back and re-watch your favorite parts, you can still do so here- Avatar 10 Year Anniversary

I’m thankful for all the Avatar fans who are still out there, who still are waiting on the sequels, and who can’t wait to go back to Pandora. It will be worth the wait!

In the short term I am very excited for Omaticon 2021, and for the upcoming comic series, Avatar: The Next Shadow. Omaticon should be a fun online fan gathering, and The Next Shadow is the first time since 2009 we get to see what Jake, Neytiri, and the Omatikaya people have been up to since we saw them on screen. Lets hope ’21 will be a great year for us Avatar fans, and the movie theater industry can bounce back in time for the 2022 Avatar 2 release.

Omaticon 2021

Omaticon 2021

Yes you heard that right, from our friends at Kelutral.org comes a virtual Avatar Con, Omaticon 2021. Get together with fellow Avatar fans on January 2, 2021 for games, learn to draw Na’vi with talented artist Eana Unil, and there is even a special guest, Paul Frommer, who is the creator of the Na’vi language. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in you can register below, learn more about Kelutral.com, and check out the page set up for Omaticon.

Register for Omaticon 2021 here- https://forms.gle/tTBqe2g2BT7XoAkN6

Check out the Kelutral.com page for Omaticon 2021- https://www.kelutral.org/omaticon.html

Learn more about Kelutral.com here- http://avatarsequels.com/want-to-learn-navi-check-out-kelutral-org/

New photo from the sequels featuring General Ardmore and Dorman

New photo from the sequels featuring General Ardmore and Dorman

Yesterday Jon Landau dropped another fantastic behind the scenes look at a scene in the sequels. This time we get a chance to see Edie Falco and Kevin Dorman prepping for a scene on the factory ship which is called the Sea Dragon. If you’ve ever watched Whale Wars the term factory ship will have meaning for you. The real life whalers on that show use a ship called the Nisshin Maru to harvest whales after they are killed by other vessels. It is a floating whale processing factory. That makes me think this ship will be used in a similar capacity in the Pandoran waters. Perhaps we will see them harvesting the massive nalutsa, which are whale like creatures that can be seen on Flight of Passage. This picture is significant because we get to see Edie for the first time as General Ardmore. Kevin is playing an unknown character, but if you zoom in you can see they are using his actual last name of Dorman. You might remember Kevin from the first movie, he played a lot of roles but the one you might remember the best is of the remote bulldozer operator.

Some new things I noticed are the Hell’s Gate patch has been updated, which I find interesting that the pentagon design is still being used as we saw the Na’vi and Avatars had taken over Hell’s Gate. I refer to it as the Hell’s gate patch simply because it is in the shape of a pentagon, which we know Hell’s Gate was fenced off in that shape. Also General Falco has a new breast patch that says Sec-Ops and a new patch on her shoulder with what appears to be an eagle grasping a snake, on top of a pentagon with the letters BSO at the top. We also see a move away from the AVPAT camo pattern in the first movie to an even bettering looking style. Directly behind the General is stuntman Steve Brown wearing the same camo, and behind Dorman we see three more actors wearing what looks to be a more Navy styled solid blue uniform. Dorman also has some sort of metal bracelet, as does the crew member directly behind him, I’m interested to see what significance these have. My first thought was possibly these are an update on the dog tags they all wore in the fist movie. You can also see the bottom of a tattoo sticking out from under the sleeve on Dorman’s left arm, and his sidearm would appear to be a style we also haven’t seen before.