After playing in theaters for almost a week, the second Avatar trailer has hit the web via Yahoo! Movies. It is epic. It is fantastic. It is one of the best trailers I have ever seen. If you thought Avatar Day was a dud, you will feel reinvigorated. If you were excited after seeing the first teaser, this will make you even more so. I’m not going to break down each scene, because at three and a half minutes, there is a lot to take in. I suggest you experience it for yourselves. I am though going to offer five things I know, and five I don’t know about where we stand now with Avatar. But first, here’s the trailer:
What I Know
I know the viral for this just has just gotten a lot more interesting. Avtr.com makes a lot more sense in light of what’s now been released regarding the plot. All the entries and images on the site can been connected to the footage in the trailer. We even see more of Colonel Quaritch, who is the military man greeting visitors to the AVTR main page. Although the official site has updated (finally) with wallpapers and images, there’s been no updates to the viral. I expect that to change big time in the next couple weeks, and am curious to see what more we have to learn about the AVTR Project.
I know Avatar’s plot is by no means original. The film is being touted as innovative in many respects, but story is not one of them. By now, I’m sure most have heard about claims earlier this week that James Cameron’s story and a novella by Poul Anderson are all too similar. The fact is the story reflects many films over the past several years. I even see similarities between Avatar and District 9. When it comes down to it though, it’s not a big deal. Film plots are so often about building upon ideas and inspirations of others, and I am curious to see where Cameron decides to take his.
I know I haven’t been this excited for a winter film release since 2005. That was the year in which a similarly epic film, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, came out. Avatar certainly has the same talent and expectations behind it, and I am optimistic it can be a bigger box office hit than Kong was, and even a better movie.
I know this trailer is going to change people’s minds. A lot of them. I stated weeks ago on our ViralCast that the only way for Fox to recapture the hype of the film was to not be afraid to give fans more content. I know some will argue that this trailer spoils the film, but I think this is a stellar move. I’ve read reactions across the net of those who were disappointed with the teaser but have now thrown their support behind the film. lus, with positive word of mouth and more marketing about to kick in, seats on the bandwagon are going to go fast.
With that said, I know I don’t want to see any more footage. This point is not meant to contradict the one I just made, but additional trailers and clips are not necessary anymore. The studio finally has the support and buzz they sought with Avatar Day. Don’t go the Watchmen route and release 15 film clips a week before the release. If Fox is smart, they will commit to building up the viral knowing they have a greater fan base. And when Thanksgiving rolls around, start flooding the airwaves with television spots. You cannot possibly top this trailer, so don’t even try.
What I Don’t Know
I don’t know what is next. I could only hope that this newfound momentum translates into a deeper viral. How about delving into who Jake Scully is? Or more about Colonel Quaritch? The Avatar marketing blitz is hard to predict. Will they release more clips? Another trailer? The buzz is going to grow over the coming weeks, and I’m curious to see what Fox does now that they have the hype on their side again.
I don’t know how much money this film will make. Avatar will clearly be Cameron’s most frontloaded release, and will yield his largest opening weekend to date. Still, the film is not mainstream enough to justify Dark Knight expectations, nor will it have Titanic’s staying power (and no film ever will). At this point, I would guess a $70 million opening weekend, and a $275 million domestic run. Is that a financial success for a film this big? What is?
I don’t know if this film will see Oscars come February. I mean serious Oscars, like Cameron is accustomed to. The technical awards I expect, and a race between Avatar, District 9, and Transformers for best visual effects would be intriguing to follow. But can this film nab one of the ten Best Picture nominations? Is there anyone in this ensemble cast that strikes you as Oscar worthy? I would guess not, but it’s something to consider as awards season approaches.
I don’t know if I want to see this in 3D. I understand it sounds crazy, but it’s my only real concern. Avatar promises visuals we’ve never seen, and a theater experience we’ve never had. I can’t remember a film being this visually overwhelming since Return of the King, but I would have the same reservations about that as well. Three hours with funky glasses on, adjusting to a new medium may prove to be a distraction for some. In the end, I will give the benefit of the doubt to the filmmakers. This is after all what Avatar was made for.
And finally, I don’t know…what you think! This trailer should breed discussion from those on both sides of the Avatar fence. Is anyone matching my excitement? Or are the dissenters prepping victory speeches for when this whole thing turns out to suck? Feel free to post your thoughts below. I will keep everyone informed on Avatar news as it becomes available.