Sunday, 10 January 2010

Avatar Introduction

Directed by

James Cameron

Produced by

James Cameron, Jon Landou

Written by

James Cameron

Music by

James Horner

Cinematography Mauro Fiore Editing by

James Cameron
John Refoua


Lightstorm Entertainment
Dune Entertainment

Distributed by

20th Century Fox

Release date(s)

December 10, 2009 (2009-12-10)
(London premiere)
December 18, 2009
(United States)

Running time 162 minutes


United States



Budget $237 million

Gross revenue


How have audiences reacted and responded to the film?

Before the film was even released, audiences had already created a great response to the film with the teaser being watched over 4million times on the apple website [see avatar apple link]. Obviously this shows that the intended audience reacted well to the film's narrative image, which generally follows trend through to the film itself.

The fans' responses to the actual film has been even more positive;

Both of these quotes have been sourced directly from the avatar fan page on facebook. The fan page has reached over 750 thousand members in the last week which just shows how much people enjoy this film and the whole franchise which has been created around it.
This support for the film has been reflected in the box office;

Avatar No. 2 Globally [see wall street journal link]
Avatar back at UK top spot [see female first link]


Where and how is the film being exhibited in the UK?

Avatar is being shown in a wide selection of cinema's across the UK. It is in-fact being shown in over 70% of the UK's theatrical cinemas. That's 471 out of the 650 we see available. However, here in London avatar's most important screening is arguably the I-Max Cinema in waterloo. The I-Max has always been at the forefront of 3-D screenings with many short documentaries being shown there on a regular basis. However, nothing on this scale has ever reached the I-Max cinema.
The I-Max cinema is the viewing place of choice for 3-D viewers. It's extra large screen is able to display images of a much finer resolution compared to any normal cinema around the UK. Cameron saw the I-Max as an opportunity to display his film's 3-D characteristics in it's best possible light.

Even though Cameron intended avatar to be a 3-D production, some younger viewers find the 3-D experience too up-front and imposing, therefore Cameron had to produce a 2-D version as well. The 2-D version has still been rated as a 5 star movie by many film critics but the has been said to create less of an ability to escape away into the film. Furthermore, 2-D prices are obviously lower than that of the 3-D prices involved. This is why Cameron may have urged all viewers to the 3-D screenings, to bump up the film's box office takings.
Here is the price lists for a 3-D ticket compared to a 2-D ticket in the Vue cinema in Greenwich.


Friday, 8 January 2010

How has the UK theatrical distribution of the film been managed in order to ensure the film's success in th UK?

The theatrical distribution of avatar was run by 20th Century Fox, who are also responsible for the production of the film. Due to their major influence in the media insdustry it was of no surprise that avatar was a big hit in both the US and here in the UK. Looking through 20th Century Fox's portfolio it is clear to see they are experts in action adventure family blockbusters and Avatar is no different to these previous cases.

The UK Film premier was in Leicester Square on the 11th December. This premiered release created huge media attention and public hype around the film, which completely over-shadowed all other news for the remainder of the week. This huge attention snowballed the film into it's first 3 weeks of public release. The initial reviews said the film was below par, and had no real story line. However, after the premier the reviews were back to full strength and the public release gathered real pace. To further ensure the success of the film, 20th Century Fox capitalized on the media attention situated around the film by a saturated release. The film was released into 500 of the 650 cinemas nationwide, allowing all enthuastic cinema goers the opportunity to see the film. This meant that the film's first weekend takings were extremely high at £8.5 million, compared to the £1.5 million taken by St. Trinians in the same opening weekend.

The weekend avatar was released we saw many other films being released on that very weekend. However, Fox knew that these other films would not be major competition to avatar's big budget production. The films accompanying avatar on its release date were Humpday, Nine and St. Trinians 2. The reason for none of these films creating the downfall of avatar is that they all are aiming at different target markets. Due to the sheer size of avatar's production, Cameron managed to have such a wide target audience that no one of these other three films could disrupt avatar's box office takings enough to create a significant affect.

James Cameron may have also combated the major threat posed by pirate copies of his film. The whole thrill of avatar is that the film was shot in full 3-D from start to finish, which is, I am told, near impossible to create a pirate version of. This means that people are less likely to buy a pirate copy of the film and will wait for the film to come out on full blu-ray whether it's 2 or 3-D. However, the 2-D version of the film is just another film, which means people will and most likely have been able to pirate the film onto a low quality 2-D version, but personally I cannot see many people reverting to buy these copies as the film is much better in 3-D picture. This will lead to the film creating more revenue as it's released onto DVD or BLU-RAY as people will wait to get the full HQ versions.


How has the film been marketed to ensure it reaches its target audience?

When Marketing Teams market a film they have to think about what appeals to their target audience, as ‘Avatar’ needs to have a wide appeal in order to make a profit it has a big target audience. Four different groups of society makes up ‘Avatar’’s target audience:

• People who enjoy romantic films
• People who enjoy action
• Science Fiction lovers
• Americans

As the film has different groups of society in its target audience it needed to have different marketing techiniques and strategies in order to appeal to everyone.

As well as the common marketing techniques you normally associate with the distribution of films, like trailers, posters, Official Film Websites, 20th Century Fox had to have additioonal techniques in order to ensure that the film appealed to its target audience. Here is a list of 5 different marketing techniques used by 20th Century Fox, and information about them:

Avatar-The Game:
[see game link]
Avatar the game was released before the film itself, this immediately created speculation about the film. The game is available of Xbox 360 and IGN have done a review on it. The game allows you to be a character in the world of Pandora, so you can experience the world before you even go and watch the film in the cinema. The game appeals to the science Fiction group of the target audience as alot of the same people who enjoy Science Fiction enjoy computer games. It also appeals to males who enjoy action, as a large proportion of computer game players are male.

As you can see from this interview, Avatat The Game is probably the biggest marketing technique used to sell this film. It is different from anything before as a game that is made from a film normally comes out after the actually film has been brought out but because they had a four and half year gap between the idea for the film and the release of the film, it meant that they were able to bring out the game before which created hype and excitement about the film.

Facebook and Twitter discussions

The film has an official Facebook and an official Twitter page, these have been used to market to teenagers, both male and female, and giving them a chance to get involved with the film. It is cheap to do but it is very effective. There is a link from the Official Website to the Facebook and Twitter pages. [see discussions link]

If you click the discussions link it takes you to the facebook page, as you can see on the page, their are regular status's made by Avatar, as the film is already out the status's are about reviews of the films or they give you information about the game or the sequel, this page continues to create speculation even after the film is released. 'Official Avatar Movie A great review from Techcrunch's, Michael Arrington's point of view, telling how you become completely lost in the world of Pandora because of not being able to tell the difference between the real imagery and the CGI.' this is one of the status's made about a review of the film.

Avatar's Profile Picture

Avatar Iphone Amp
As the technology world is coming closer and closer, to market a film the distributers use different media platforms as we can see above. Iphones are becoming bigger and bigger so an iphone amp is another cheap method to reach alot of people. [see avatar iphone link]

Coke Zero campaign
Due to Coke being such a monopoly, it gets involved in everything to do with entertainment, from music to hollywood. Its partnership with Avatar will bring both 20th Century Fox and coke a lot of money. Here is an article on the partnership [see avatar coke link]

Avatar Viral Campaign [see avatar viral campaign link]
The site gives you loads of information on the planet Pandora, and all the breakthroughs that are happening on the planet, as though it is a real place. This is a new and very effective form of marketing.

'The Resource Development Administration has selected reporter Alison Boyd to bring Earth an in-depth look into the AVATAR program. Reporting from Pandora, Alison’s reports focus on day-to-day life and the supporting tools utilized by the RDA to carry out its mission. Boyd's distinguished career includes covering geo-political events as well as being embedded in conflict zones.'

This is a quote from AVTR, the viral site, it is written in a way that pandora is a real place, even though we know it isn't it makes the world more interesting and we want to find out more about it.

This is Alison Boyd, the lady reporting from pandora

It gives us a face to put to the name, which makes it seem that little bit more real.


Who is the target audience and how have they been targeted in the uk?

Who are the target audience? and what about the film appeals to them?

• Families

Family, is a large target audience to have, as pretty much everybody is in a family, this means that the film would have to target each member of the family. the typical family is two kids and two parents.

The kids are targeted with the different animals and monsters in the film, magic and other worlds appeal to kids, as they have good imagination, so this film is perfect for them. The parents are less interested in the animals but more in the story line, it is not a hard storyline to keep up with so kids can watch it but it is still a well written and exciting storyline, this will appeal to adults.

• Science fiction lovers

The variety of animals and monsters also appeal to science fiction lovers but for different reasons, they like to look at the comparisons with animals in our world and they like to see the machinary used to deal with these beasts.

As you can see the beasts are nothing like the ones we get on earth, the abnormality of it appeals to both science fiction lovers and kids. The world also appeals to science fiction lovers, it is not just the animals that are different Pandora has alot different characteristics to earth for example the floating mountains you can see in the picture, it is this comparison and difference that science fiction lovers like.

• Action lovers/males

The film has alot of action in it, there are many fighting scenes between different type of being, all this fighting creates action. The fighting includes machinary versus Avatar, Avatar vs Avatar and human vs Avatar.

• Romantic film lovers/females

Although there is alot of action in the film, James Cameron has managed to add romance to it, what is amazing is that the audience finds itself involved in the romance, yet the romance is between Avatar and human, the quality of graphics and production means that this romantic affair is able to take place.

How have they been targeted in the uk?
What products and sites have been brought out to target and market for this target audience?

Families- toys have been brought out in the uk with macdonalds and leading toy companies have made some products.

Science fiction lovers-Avatar the game has been released in the uk, the game was realesed before the film to create speculation and to introduce people to Pandora. It is not just the world of pandora that aappeals to science fiction lovers, it is also the quality of the game, the graphics and structure of the game make it a simple yet exciting game to play. The success of the game increases the hype about the film.

• Males-Avatar the game has been released in the UK, the game was realesed before the film to create speculation and to introduce people to Pandora.

• Young males and females-Facebook and twitter pages are in english, iphone game can be bought on itunes and other websites available in the uk.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

How was the film produced to appeal to its audience?

Due to the film costing $350million to produce and market, in order to make a profit, the producers would have to have a wide appeal to get as many people into the cinema as possible. In order to do this they would have to involve as many different storylines and themes as possible.

The film involves 4 key themes:
• Love
• Science Fiction
• Action
• Hero/Herroin

Most films, including Hollywood Blockbusters, would only involve 1 or 2 themes, for example Love and Action in the James Bond films. Different themes appeal to different people, when a film only has one theme it can only appeal to a certain amount of people, for example Romantic films, normally appeal to the female sex.

The producers knew in order to appeal to alot of people there needs to be multiple different themes to the film.

Love appeals to the female sex. -The relationship between Jake and the Avatar appeals to females as he is a sweet and caring man.

Science Fiction appeals to a certain type of person, interested in other worlds, monsters and machinary. -The film is set in the world of ‘Pandora’, which has many different beasts and animals, Heavy manchinary and robots are needed to deal with these monsters, and the film is set in the year 2154.

Action appeals to the male sex- there are many different fighting scenes, between Avatar and Beast, Human and Avatar, and Avatar and Avatar. The varieties of fighting creates great action.

A hero appeals to the nation of America, Americans like a certain type of film with a happy ending, and America contribute to a large proportion of the profit earn’t by the film as it is such a large nation- Jake Solley is the hero in this film, a disabled man with a big heart.

In this video the senior editor of 'entertainment weekly magazine', says that the films main target audience is teenage boys, he says they will come out and 'get their geek on', these people will be the science fiction lovers i was talking about earlier. Tom also says that he thinks the film will make its money back due to the massive range of people who will go and see it. He says their is a romantic storyline which will appeal to girls but it is not on the same scale as the Titanic. The film will also appeal to the older genrations due to the simularities between Viat Nam and this film.

This film has done well to appeal to its audience because it has managed to include 4 different themes, which is not easy to do as all the themes have different storylines, and all these storylines need to fit together in order for the film to make sense.