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Nah, Avatar is going to clear 70M this weekend

Avatar is in its second weekend, which usually means a Saturday increase. Sherlock is in its first weekend which usually means a Saturday decrease. Sunday is virtually guaranteed decreases for both. So more than likely Avatar is guaranteed #1, and a photo-finish race to beat Dark Knight's all time second-weekend record. Sherlock on the other hand may well be guaranteed the biggest #2 opener ever.

The weekend over all is also in the running to be the biggest single weekend ever. And also quite possible the largest number of films grossing $10M+ in a weekend.

Went to the theater today to see Up in The Air...(good movie), and there was literally one parking space left open in the entire lot. I've never witnessed that before.

Recession + Holidays + Good Movies All Around = $$$$$$$

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I'm still amazed by how bored I am with the score. I loved it in the film, and even in the clips I've heard from the film the score really wroks for me. But alone, it really does little for me.

It is strange, for it is one of the few Horner CD's I can listen to from start to finish, where I don't feel its gargantuan running time.

This has been true for me, too. I've listened to it straight through more times already than all of his other scores that I have (which aren't that many, really).

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Nah, Avatar is going to clear 70M this weekend

Avatar is in its second weekend, which usually means a Saturday increase. Sherlock is in its first weekend which usually means a Saturday decrease. Sunday is virtually guaranteed decreases for both. So more than likely Avatar is guaranteed #1, and a photo-finish race to beat Dark Knight's all time second-weekend record. Sherlock on the other hand may well be guaranteed the biggest #2 opener ever.

The weekend over all is also in the running to be the biggest single weekend ever. And also quite possible the largest number of films grossing $10M+ in a weekend.

Went to the theater today to see Up in The Air...(good movie), and there was literally one parking space left open in the entire lot. I've never witnessed that before.

Recession + Holidays + Good Movies All Around = $$$$$$$

I just got home from a 9 hour shift. Holy fuck I've never seen the theater so packed. 3 hour rushes at concession, like 15 sold out shows. When I was leaving every parking garage had a full sign out front. We had about 10,000 people today.

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Ya it was crazy at the theater we were at this morning. Our showing was nearly full too. Grant the last front row seats really weren't but who really likes sitting down there anyways?

I didn't realize it was nearly a 3 hour long film until it was over and I turned my phone back on and saw the time.

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Nah, Avatar is going to clear 70M this weekend

Avatar is in its second weekend, which usually means a Saturday increase. Sherlock is in its first weekend which usually means a Saturday decrease. Sunday is virtually guaranteed decreases for both. So more than likely Avatar is guaranteed #1, and a photo-finish race to beat Dark Knight's all time second-weekend record. Sherlock on the other hand may well be guaranteed the biggest #2 opener ever.

The weekend over all is also in the running to be the biggest single weekend ever. And also quite possible the largest number of films grossing $10M+ in a weekend.

Went to the theater today to see Up in The Air...(good movie), and there was literally one parking space left open in the entire lot. I've never witnessed that before.

Recession + Holidays + Good Movies All Around = $$$$$$$

I just got home from a 9 hour shift. Holy fuck I've never seen the theater so packed. 3 hour rushes at concession, like 15 sold out shows. When I was leaving every parking garage had a full sign out front. We had about 10,000 people today.

My daughter & I went to Avatar today and our theater was also wall-to-wall people. I have never seen so many people there.

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It's not the most egregious, it's actually quite different by Horner's standards. But once I heard Brahms 3rd symphony (3rd movement), it soured me on that Horner score.

Soured about WHAT? There's not one note in PERFECT STORM which isn't perfectly accessible Hollywood mush with 100 strings and horns playing with lots of vibrato. Brahms it certainly ain't.

Aside from that, PS is a great, if compromised score. Lots of themes and motifs, lots of memorable moments, just too much, too sugary at times, too many repetitions of core moments. But how many composers can produce multiple 10-minute action cues which have a dramatic arc and a symphonic flow to them? Name the last long Williams cue as through-composed as COAST GUARD RESCUE (not you, Morlock, anyone!) :huh:

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I'm afraid we're not talking about The Perfect Storm here, but All the Kings Men. :D

Anyways, I've seen Avatar today.

Oh my. As far as the script goes it is absolutely dreadful. I wouldn't mind all this as much, but this thing is almost three hours! That's it on this matter.

But then again it's not about the script at all, is it? The movie is carried entirely on its visuals and the music. This is something Lucas tried to do in his prequels, but failed miserably. As a visual expierence - it certainly works. Just don't even try to think during this film. It will ruin it for you.

It is certainly better than the ususal Hollywood blocbuster in terms of style. Cameron actually knows how to present his world or stage an action scene, I'll give him that.

The score is great in the film. Much ferocious action music is missing from the album. It (action writing) sounds more masculine this time around, compared to Horner's more usual, feminine (from lack of better expressions) style. Overall, it certainly helps. I like it even more now and want an expanded version.

So, in the end, the movie does work or it doesn't, depending on your interest in the new technology. Take it or leave it. It was a ride, but I won't be seeing it again.

Oh, and watching it in normal format won't do. This is a gigantic special effect and should be treated as such. If anything, see it in IMAX or in 3D.

Karol - who likes to have a good story in a film

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I personally found the story to be so predictable and unoriginal, coupled with totally uninteresting and cardboard characters, that no ammount of quality special effects will make me watch this movie ever again. It was money I regretted spending

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Bravo to Blume for calling the boxoffice for this weekend, though even he underestimated Avatar's draw.

Merkel, you're not telling the truth, you never saw all the twist and turns that happened in the film. You never saw him flying the giant dinosaur, nor did you foresee her taming the leopard beast.

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I did not see her using the rhino thing at the end, but of course he was going to fly the big beast! That was obviously set-up. And Cameron is big on pay-offs. I rarely find myself thinking about what's going to happen next (which is not to say if I were I would figure everything out), but even I -who did not realize who the bad guy in Minority Report was until a split second before it was revealed, even though it should have been obvious- could see this movie's plot come together from a mile away.

I say again, I think that the story is absolutely as generic and predictable as anything, but not only because of the limits of Cameron's writing abilities (which he himself will willingly cop to) or his corniness (which is undeniable). I think that the predictability of the plot is intended so that the film not be one about plot. It's about the visuals (by which I'm not using the woefully misused 'film is a visual medium' argument to excuse the film). That doesn't mean the plot isn't as predictable as all that, it just means that, for better or worse (both can be well-argued, I think), it is not a major element in the film. By its lack of sophistication, it is granted a lame timelessness that is instantly recognizable (thematically speaking, this movie could play any time, any where, and be instantly understandable).

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Like most Cameron movies I can think of, it's about connection. The plot may be somewhat predictable, but I still had no idea how it was going to end. The visuals are great (that is, if you're watching in 3D on a real IMAX screen, from my experience). I don't even like most modern movies and I enjoyed it, so I don't know what anyone else's problem is.

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Bravo to Blume for calling the boxoffice for this weekend, though even he underestimated Avatar's draw.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to see Avatar do so well this weekend.

And maybe you can back me up on this Joe, since you've been watching movies far longer than any of us, but it is so nice to have movies with happy stories being well received at the box office again. Movies that are magical and adventurous. None of this nitty gritty Dark Knight, Bourne, 300, and the whole "darker and grittier is better" movement that seemed to take over the last few years.

I mean Star Trek may not have been the best movie this year, but by golly it was one of the most refreshing and enjoyable. As was Avatar, and it was even better. And both are proving to be far more successful than analysts who thought audiences craved grim actions in this dark world expected.

I just saw Up In The Air this weeekend, and again great reception, good movie, and none of this "everyone. will. die." nonsense, humanity is doomed, everyone is evil.

If Avatar had been made to the grim standard, Jake would probably ultimately spend the entire movie making the painstaking choice to wipe out the Na'Vi. And I'm sure a lot of the artsy people here who love unpredictability would have different opinions of the movie. :-P

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Blume, in all fairness to the grimness of TDK you have to admit it painted a nice picture of humanity at the end when given the choice to destroy and save themselves the citizens of Chicago, I mean Gotham chose to risk death. In a way it was uplifting.

Up falls right into the category you talk about. Think about it, UP is big, bold, beautiful, bright, and surprisingly intimate. Harry Potter is successful because of spectacle and popularity, and the fact that the stories are good, but ultimately it's about doing whats right. Star Trek succeeded because of a great great cast and a glossy paint job but good triumph again.

Avatar succeeds as a spectacle but to get repeat business you have to care somewhat about the characters and I like Jake, Neyteri, Grace and Moat. If you don't connect to the characters it's difficult to connect to the film.

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I liked a lot of Avatar, but for me

the analogy of the treatement of indigenous peoples broke down with the handling of Jake's decision to become fully Nav'i. By switching not only cultures but TRUE races, you have a major issue that I feel wasn't addressed satisfactorily. It was hinted at, but I kept expecting them to go further with it. As it was, when the ending asks you to be all happy and cheerful that he's doing this, I wasn't ready to be so. I didn't see why this was the right thing to do. Doesn't he have any friends or family back home that will be concerned about him? I don't know (which is something that I don't want to be able to say coming out of a 2 hr, 40 min. film). There were a lot of good things in the film, but it left an odd taste, especially since the ending is ALL about his switch.

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I liked a lot of Avatar, but for me the analogy of the treatement of indigenous peoples broke down with the handling of Jake's decision to become fully Nav'i. By switching not only cultures but TRUE races, you have a major issue that I feel wasn't addressed satisfactorily. It was hinted at, but I kept expecting them to go further with it. As it was, when the ending asks you to be all happy and cheerful that he's doing this, I wasn't ready to be so. I didn't see why this was the right thing to do. Doesn't he have any friends or family back home that will be concerned about him? I don't know (which is something that I don't want to be able to say coming out of a 2 hr, 40 min. film). There were a lot of good things in the film, but it left an odd taste, especially since the ending is ALL about his switch.

This is the same problem Spielberg has today with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Roy goes into space with the aliens, but we know for a fact that he leaves his family behind, although the difference is he was the one who alienated them in the first place.

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This is the same problem Spielberg has today with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Roy goes into space with the aliens, but we know for a fact that he leaves his family behind, although the difference is he was the one who alienated them in the first place.

He "alienated" them . . . heh. :(

Watch the spoilers, Delorean . . . some of us would like to see the film without knowing too much.

- Uni

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And maybe you can back me up on this Joe, since you've been watching movies far longer than any of us, but it is so nice to have movies with happy stories being well received at the box office again. Movies that are magical and adventurous. None of this nitty gritty Dark Knight, Bourne, 300, and the whole "darker and grittier is better" movement that seemed to take over the last few years.

I would say that the most popular films of the last few years were not "dark" and "gritty".

Films like Pirates, Spiderman, Shrek, Harry Potter, The Lord Of The Rings, Transformers, Pixar films, etc. were quite positive, much like the big popcorn films from the 80's.

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ESB is immensely popular among devoted SW fanatics soley because itz teh dark n grityer

No. Solely because it's a great written, directed and produced film. It just happens to be darker and more serious than Star Wars.

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then what was wrong with the story in Avatar, its a good story, not ground breaking but certainly better than you give it credit for.

It's mostly that there is not a single element you can't predict. I understand that it is the most classic tale, but you have to give it something that makes it at least a little bit more fresh. What makes things even worse, every single Hollywood movie is structured on such a spine. Telling it straightforward, with no (or little) creative input, makes it tiring. Especially after almost 3 hrs. Sense of humour would be welcome too.

Fortunetely, the plot is the least important thing in this film. It's the visual and the overall ambience that make it credible. I understand that was the intent.

Karol - who saw him flying the dinosaur as soon as they mentioned it.

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A few notes on the score:

1) Almost all the major musical moments are on the album which is quite a well balanced presentation of the music.

The most glaring omissions were the fanfarish and swashbuckling space rhino stampede music from "the nature strikes back" sequence and a few nice cues underscoring the wide shots of travel scenery plus some sections of the final battle music. Almost all significant Na'Vi music is on the album.

2) Horner actually included all the main musical motifs (new and borrowed) on the soundtrack album in one guise or another, which is nice as we have to settle so many times to a select few when a soundtrack album in concerned.

3) Horner happily succeeded excluding another self plagiarising piece from the album, namely the Aliens motif, which he used for the frantic Thanator music in both action sequences the beast is involved. What an idea, use Aliens music for an alien predator. Stunningly original James :(

4) Nice to note that Horner had a clear intention for the danger motif in this film: It signal's death in one form or another. Almost palatable in most guises. Still he should find new notes from time to time. He could be as surprised as we for a change.

Thoughts on the film will be following soon.

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You're as wrong as your twin Merkel, the film isn't all about the visuals.

Avatar succeeds as a spectacle but to get repeat business you have to care somewhat about the characters and I like Jake, Neyteri, Grace and Moat. If you don't connect to the characters it's difficult to connect to the film.

I never said I didn't connect with the story or the characters. But it is not the most important factor in the film, not by a long shot. The film would fall apart if it was story/character based- it is so cliched, contradictory and thematically muddled. At times, it is even egregiously offensive. Or it would be, if the context was more important than the presentation. There is one particular scene in the film that is amazingly stupid and offensive on a thematic level (for political reasons, which I won't get into), but only in context. Out of context, as a series of amazing images, it is awe inspiring and incredibly powerful. Only by the amazing images is the context removed, and the scene works like gangbusters.

I believe that Cameron believes in this story. He cares about this story. But not nearly as much as he cares about the presentation of it. And it's only because he believes in it that I'm okay with the fact that the images are the main point of this movie. He's not a Bay or a Snyder that cares for nothing but the 'awesome' factor. Aside from the fact that he creates more compelling images than either of them, it is his un-ironic belief in these basic, primal tales that saves him from being just a gear-head (which, unfortunately, the formerly great storyteller Zemeckis has given in to, IMO...I never got the sense that Beowulf or Dickens meant much more to him than an opportunity.

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This is the same problem Spielberg has today with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Roy goes into space with the aliens, but we know for a fact that he leaves his family behind, although the difference is he was the one who alienated them in the first place.

He "alienated" them . . . heh. :(

Watch the spoilers, Delorean . . . some of us would like to see the film without knowing too much.

- Uni

My bad. I thought I'd seen some spoilers and I jumped to the conclusion that it was a spoiler thread. I fixed it; sorry about that!

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Just saw this again today and actually enjoyed it more than I did first time around. Horner's score came off much better second time too, I paid proper attention to it this time and it does a good job, recycled stuff aside.

There is nothing wrong with the simple, straightforward story. Yes it's predictable and yes its clichéd, but Cameron succeeds not because of the visuals, but because the [two dimensional] characters are quite simply, likeable. Audiences respond to the timeless themes presented in the movie and in twenty years time they will continue to do so, in some other telling, in some other movie. People will even forgive gaping big plotholes, so long as they've been given sufficient time to fall in love with the leads, something I find fascinating in itself, but hardly an insightful observation, considering its been happening for years. Everything that Avatar represents is all very basic and easy to relate with, people just like these old stories even if they have heard 'em a hundred times before, it's simple human nature to connect, time and time again. The look of the film is mindblowing, but without the real and far more important ingredients such as the truly endearing protagonists - completely believable in their convictions, the panto bad guy to boo at when required and a sizeable amount of HEART (movie has it in the bucketloads), Avatar would be utterly worthless. But it isn't, because Cameron understands that characters should always come before visuals and it could be argued that they should even come before story. A sprinkle of magic and a dash of charm will always work wonders were a long-winded thinker would fall flat.

Of course the plot is a simple one - it was meant to be. Simply sublime. If you don't like simple stories then don't watch it, it isn't likely to be for you.

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I enjoyed the movie a lot, but I am not sure if it really was worth so much money and effort spent on it over these years. The visual side was spectacular - much better than I expected. But, while there is more to this movie than just visuals, I am also afraid it's not enough to call it a great picture. It was an engaging and thrilling spectacle, though. If there is a movie I could compare it to, it's Jurassic Park. It's not shallow and by no means dumb, as some like to say, and is much, much better than most popcorn flicks these days, but, as far as the story is concerned, it's rather fogettable. What's going to be remembered about it, are the landscapes of Pandora with it's floating rocks and bioluminescent flora.

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I see where you're coming from with the JP comparisons, but I don't remember anyone getting a bit teary-eyed during the Spielberg romp. On the other hand I know some folks who said they did during Avatar. I personally think Cameron's movie has better characters and a better story, but that's just me.

Lee - who was more blown away back in '93 than he was in '09, but maybe it was because he was still only a little tike in those days.

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Of course the plot is a simple one - it was meant to be. Simply sublime. If you don't like simple stories then don't watch it, it isn't likely to be for you.

I seem to recall a huge film from the same director that had a simple story. :(

A simple story with the right director and cast can work wonders with an audience.

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Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to get away to the cinema to see it.

I'm hoping the Mrs. and I can get away this coming weekend to see it. Although I am a bit concerned because two people I hold dear to me and have similar taste in films went and saw it. One fell asleep and the other called it Ferngully with very good SPX. :(

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I saw this film on Christmas Eve, at a fairly late showing. From the looks of the people walking in, it appeared it was going to be a crowd full of sci-fi fans, not romance/epic movie fans. And at the end, there were very few people who applauded. I wasn't one of them, but maybe it was because I saw the ending coming near the end of the final battle.

Anyway, I enjoyed the film. I didn't like its obvious cliches. I know cliches are cliches because they work, but it's one thing to use a cliche and have it work very well (see Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart") and another to use a cliche and mask the holes with CGI.

I liked the film because it did transport me to a brand-new place with many visual wonders. I can see why it took James Cameron and his team so long to get this movie made. A lot of work went into this movie ... in post-production. Sam Worthington was more expressive as a Nav'i than a human (and maybe that was intentional). I always like Sigourney Weaver and thought she was the best human in the movie. The guy leading the human army was very cartoonish. I expected him to eventually be chomping on a cigar and in the end, riding a missile to his death.

As for the score, it was boring. Once Jake found his flying animal and took off on it, I was hoping -- praying! -- that I would get something like "Buckbeak's Flight," which I didn't like the first time I heard it, but at least I appreciated it a lot on first listen and have grown to love it. The "flying music" was soooooooooooo dull I wanted the scene to end as quickly as possible so I could stop judging it on what it lacked. I am sure James Horner is well-schooled on the most famous flying sequences in movie history, and knowing they were all scored by John Williams, should have at least tried to do something worthy of comparison. I was very disappointed he dropped the ball, but then again, that's what James Horner does. This could have been his "Star Wars." I fully expected lush orchestrations, but I thought we'd get some theme that would be remembered. Besides the danger theme, I don't remember any other piece of music in the film.

Anyway, I read a post earlier about someone saying this film moved him in the same way he was moved when seeing "Star Wars" and "Jurassic Park" for the first time. My jaw was on the floor the first time I saw "Jurassic Park." Not so much here.

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Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to get away to the cinema to see it.

I'm hoping the Mrs. and I can get away this coming weekend to see it. Although I am a bit concerned because two people I hold dear to me and have similar taste in films went and saw it. One fell asleep and the other called it Ferngully with very good SPX. :(

Well if you have your cynical head on the night you go to see it then it could quite easily turn out to be Ferngully 2: Lost In The Shrubbery.

I had my cynical head on when I first went to see it, especially after the DREADFUL trailers, but the movie went on to win me over nonetheless. It is a rare thing for that to happen not just with me, but with anyone.

Avatar shall be remembered like this:

AVATAR... BETTER THAN THE TRAILER!

And at the end, there were very few people who applauded. I wasn't one of them, but maybe it was because I saw the ending coming near the end of the final battle.

I believe that is an American-centric tradition anyway - here in the UK at least, people don't applaud or whoop after a movie. Instead they just quietly gather their belongings and respectfully head for the exit, chatting amongst themselves. I like our way better.

I am sure James Horner is well-schooled on the most famous flying sequence in movie history

Ah, Point Break. I must watch it again.

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Any person who uses the Ferngully comparison is nothing more than a lemur without a thought to its own.

I plan on going again Friday.

Mark when you do see it, see it in 3D. Obviously it doesn't enhance the story but it enhances to mood.

Jeff, give the score another chance, I find it magical, after first going hmmmmm. It certainly won't make your ears bleed like Zimmers two abomimable efforts this past weekend.

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My jaw was on the floor the first time I saw "Jurassic Park." Not so much here.

Yeah, but like I suggested earlier, one's age [at the time] may have played a part there.

Mark when you do see it, see it in 3D. Obviously it doesn't enhance the story but it enhances to mood.

I believe immersion was the goal and boy did Cameron succeed. I don't know if screen size has anything to do with it, but I frequently had to shake myself out of a 'trance'. It was really pretty weird, as sensations go.

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Jeff, give the score another chance, I find it magical, after first going hmmmmm. It certainly won't make your ears bleed like Zimmers two abomimable efforts this past weekend.

I hope the score is worth all the hype because I ordered it with one of my Christmas gift cards.

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I may be wrong in my last statement. By immersion Cameron wanted us to connect to the characters and the environment, which are key points in the story.

Spoiler, wipe to see,

I think the destruction of Home tree is the cinematic equivalent to bringing down the Towers, its a very emotional sequence that Na-vi could not comprehend.

Jeff your jaw dropped in Jurassic Park because you'd never seen a dinosaur come to life. You have a hundred times since. You had no expectations of what you'd see here, but in JP you had realistic expectations and they were met and surpassed.

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