So, as of Sunday night, Avatar's world wide grosses are running $617,000,000. Read Nikki's piece on it here.
Depending on which numbers you like on the production end -- somewhere just above or below $300 million to make, plus nudging another eighty to hundred million to advertise and such, it isn't into profit yet. (The old formula is, although not strictly accurate: P = 2-1/2 x C, where P is profit, and C is production cost. Using this, the movie will have to do over a billion dollars before Cameron gets into high cotton.
That's rare air, only a handful of movies have gotten there. Titanic, LOTR, one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Dark Knight, come to mind. It's already in the top fifty, having blown past Casino Royale, Men in Black, Iron Man and all but forty-seven others ...
Given everybody I know who has seen it is telling friends to go see it, and that world-of-mouth is the best advertising money can't buy, I would guess that the studio is probably sleeping a little easier now.
Lot of industry folks hate Cameron, and a bunch 'em really wanted him to fall flat. They wanted to believe this was gonna tank, becoming an -- pardon the pun -- abysmal failure.
They all said the same thing about Titanic. It's a stupid, schmaltzy, chick-flick, the music sucks, and it won't earn out.
Yeah, they might have been right about everything -- except the last part. Boy, did it earn out. First movie to top a billion in grosses worldwide. Still number one at the box office, ever.
I believe Avatar has, what they call in the biz, legs, and that it will make it into the profit zone. People are going to see it because they like science fiction, or because they feel they have to because it is almost a cultural necessity, just like Titanic was. While it's not a chick-flick, there is a love story, and that part works. Last I checked, about forty percent of the audience was female, and that's way past what action movies normally garner.