Potential Outbreak is a weekly article of MovieViral concerning “possible” viral marketing of upcoming future films and what these films can use so they can be successful.
Avatar is set to release in late December of this year (2009) but this film still has time to compose a timely and complex ARG/viral. With James Cameron at the helm of this so-called 3-D phenomenon, this thing still has the potential of having an interesting view of the characters, the planets and other materials to build a strong viral marketing base. In addition to the film’s setting in space, the story also has a strong premise behind it too:
Avatar is set during the 22nd century on a small moon called Pandora, which orbits a gas giant, and is inhabited by the tribal Na’vi, ten foot blue humanoids that are peaceful unless attacked. Humans cannot breathe Pandoran air, so they genetically engineer human/Na’vi hybrids known as Avatars that can be controlled via a mental link. A paralyzed Marine named Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) volunteers to exist as an Avatar on Pandora, falling in love with a Na’vi princess and becoming caught up in the conflict between her people and the human military that is consuming their world
This film has awesome viral written all over it because the story has many tools and ideas to play with. I just can imagine many sites featured in this potential viral, especially with Jake Sulley (played by Sam Worthington) being the main focal point of this alternate reality game.
There are many reasons why James Cameron and 20th Century Fox might create a viral for this film. Here are the 3 main reasons why:
1: The Budget
Time Magazine reported back in early March that Avatar’s current budget is $240 million. How do you make that money back without an emsemble cast or A-list stars in your movie. While relying on it’s never before seen 3-D, amazing effects and James Cameron’s knack for blockbusters, Avatar needs a following to get more people to be interested in this film. The only way possible to do that is by viral marketing, using the internet as a tool for a fanbase or just plain curiousity. It worked with Cloverfield and it can certainly work for this film.
2: Fox needs a breakout film
After various stints for a few years, 20th Century Fox hasn’t had ‘THAT FILM’ with huge box-office numbers or success like Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros and Universal had in these couple of years. Yes, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ came out and did well at first, but its numbers quickly declined. Not to mention the film was crappy.
3: It’s a damn Sci-fi film
Avatar is a sci-fi film. With the setting in space including planets, alien creatures, and such, it can lead into a interesting ARG depending on we if get more details at Comic Con by JC. I can really feel that this thing has the potential of Cloverfield or even Star Trek but less complex (duh).
We have to wait and see if James Cameron has in store at Comic Con this summer but i wouldn’t be surprised with the game coming out, that they would join in the viral ranks of promoting this film and attracting people to see it in 3-D.