As of this morning James Cameron is a mere $6 million away from smashing his own twelve year record at the peak of the all-time global box-office chart, with 3D motion capture epic Avatar set to overtake Titanic’s mighty haul of $1.842 billion.
It truly is testament to the man’s film-making genius that Cameron has returned from his self-imposed feature exile to smash a record that seemed for so long to be unbreakable, especially when you consider that juggernauts such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Dark Knight, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean were lucky to bank half of Titanic’s world-wide gross.
Sure, ticket prices are a lot higher these days (even before the 3D surcharge), but there are few who could have predicted the sheer success that Avatar would enjoy. Although it’s yet to grab the top spot overall in North America (with less than $50m to go), it’s only a matter of time before the film becomes the first to cross $2 billion and set a mammoth record that will take another twelve years to surpass (Battle Angel, anyone?). Having already bagged a couple of Golden Globes and numerous film critics awards – along with a host of BAFTA nominations and soon-to-be Academy Award nominations – Avatar has the potential to run and run and it would be impossible to predict it’s final tally at this stage.
What isn’t impossible to predict is that it’s a shoe-in for Best Moneymaker – sorry, Best Picture – at the Oscar ceremony come March 7th.
Now don’t get me wrong. Avatar is a bloody good film. It’s a true visual treat with some excellent performances that really bring the animation to life and it certainly deserves to clean up the technical awards, where it is outstanding. But Best Picture? Hmm… story fairly predictable… nothing really new here, to be honest… nice and pretty and all… ooh a flying bit… and the shit hits the fan and there’s a big fight. I think I’d have to say no, whilst at the same time placing a rather large wager that it will be.
Anyway, well done Mr. Cameron and sincere congratulations on your success. Two films miles ahead of the competition at the global box office and neither of them crack your top three.