Avatar 2 and 3 both on the way

I guess it makes sense that the top-grossing movie of all time wouldn’t just disappear into history without a sequel or two – James Cameron has confirmed that he will indeed start work soon on the writing of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, as he’s signed a contract with 20th Century Fox to direct both films.

Don’t start holding your breath just yet, though – Avatar 2 has a tentative release date of Christmas 2014, and Avatar 3 is scheduled to be released a year after that.  Cameron says that all three films will have independent story lines and will not be a “set” per se, but that of course fans who see all three films will get a little bit more out of the viewing experience than those who only choose to see one.

Avatar DVD and Blu-Ray Release Corrupts Earth Day

James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox apparently couldn’t manage to make the release of Avatar on DVD and Blu-ray into a national holiday, so they decided to borrow one instead. Fox Home Entertainment announced Tuesday the 2-D version of the sci-fi epic film will hit shelves in the U.S. and Canada on April 22, otherwise known as Earth Day. A date for the 3-D version of the film to be released has not yet been announced.

'Avatar' (Twentieth Century Fox)
'Avatar' (Twentieth Century Fox)

Since Avatar is all about the nasty commercially-driven Earthlings attacking the nature-loving residents of Pandora, we’re sure they thought it would be fabulously cheesy to release the film on a holiday dedicated to celebrating environmentalism. We just think it’s kind of lame.

Avatar has already earned over $2.6 billion in worldwide ticket sales and the studio will no doubt earn hundreds of millions more from DVD and Blu-ray sales. While we’re out planting trees and picking up trash, the folks behind Avatar will be locked in their corporate high-rises giggling greedily over the growing balance of their bank accounts.

We have a suggestion. How about for every DVD or Blu-ray they sell on Earth Day, they dedicate the profits to an environmental cause instead of using them to line their own overstuffed pockets? That at least might make their use of Earth Day as a corporate marketing tool a little easier to swallow.

>> Previously:  82nd Annual Academy Awards Most Watched Oscars in Five Years

82nd Annual Academy Awards Most Watched Oscars in Five Years

Kathyrn Bigelow‘s The Hurt Locker may have been the big winner at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, but the Oscars show itself also claimed a major victory for the night. Sunday night’s Oscars event was the most watched in five years according to Nielsen estimates, drawing in over 41 million viewers for the evening.

Jeff Bridges accepting Oscar for Best Actor (ABC)
Jeff Bridges accepting Oscar for Best Actor (ABC)

ABC’s Red-Carpet Pre-Show also scored a win for the night, pulling in its largest audience since 2007 with over 25 million viewers. Some of the increase in ratings is attributed to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to nominate 10 films for Best Picture this year, instead of the usual five. The contentious battle between James Cameron‘s blockbuster film Avatar and Kathyrn Bigelow’s Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker for the top prize also proved a major audience draw.

Luckily for the Academy’s ratings, more than 3 million customers of New York’s Cablevision were able to tune in to the awards show at the last minute. A fee dispute between Cablevision and ABC parent company Walt Disney kept many televisions in the New York area dark until just after the Academy Awards started.

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Academy Awards 2010 Winners List

In case you missed the action at the 82nd annual Academy Awards, we’ve got the complete list of winners from the evening for you. The Hurt Locker led the tally for the evening with six Oscars in total, including best picture and best director.

The Hurt Locker (Summit Entertainment)
'The Hurt Locker' (Summit Entertainment)

Best Picture – The Hurt Locker

Best Actress – Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Best Actor – Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress – Mo’Nique, Precious

Best Director: Kathyrn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Best Animated Picture: Up

Best Foreign Film – El Secrecto de Sus Ojos (Argentina)

Best Original Screenplay – Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious

Best Adapted Screenplay – Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker

Art Direction – Avatar

Cinematography – Avatar

Sound Mixing – The Hurt Locker

Sound Editing – The Hurt Locker

Film Editing – The Hurt Locker

Visual Effects – Avatar

Costumes – The Young Victoria

Makeup – Star Trek

Best Original Score – Michael Giacchino, Up

Best Original Song” Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett for “The Weary Kind,” Crazy Heart

Documetary – The Cove

Documentary Short – Music by Prudence

Animated Short – Logorama

Live Action Short – The New Tenants

>> Previously:  Sandra Bullock is Best Actress Winner of 2010 – And Worst Too

2010 Academy Award Winners and Losers

There may be 10 strong nominees for Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards, but only two of them are really considered to be in contention for the top prize. Most Oscar buffs have narrowed the true field of competitors for Best Picture down to Avatar or The Hurt Locker. We think it would be most delightful if the Academy Award voters surprise the hell out of us by awarding the Best Picture honor to a film that actually deserves it instead.

'The Hurt Locker' (Summit Entertainment)
'The Hurt Locker' (Summit Entertainment)

That pretty much sums up how we feel about the Oscars this year in general. We’d like to see the films and actors that truly represent the best creations and performances of the year actually get credit it for it this time around. Too often, the Oscars go to films that got the most buzz or earned the most money at the box office. The actors win Oscars, many times, because of who the actors are, not how well they portrayed the characters they were supposed to be representing.

In light of this, we give you our list of 2010 Academy Award winners and losers if we had any choice in the matter – which, of course, we don’t. We’re sure you’ll probably vastly disagree with many of our choices, but hey, that’s what the comments section is for, right? So check out our picks and then flame away if you don’t like them. And tell us who you think deserve to be the real winners of the evening.

Writing (Original Screenplay):

Probably Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: A Serious Man

Considering how pissed off some actual military service men are about how unrealistic The Hurt Locker screenplay is, we wouldn’t give it this prize. There is such a thing as creative license, but not when you are writing a film based on people who are losing their limbs and lives in real life.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

Probably Win: Up in the Air
Should Win: Precious

Up in the Air was a great film and we feel it probably will not get much of the recognition it deserves this year at the Oscars. However, Precious wasn’t just a great screenplay, it was a shockingly amazing screenplay. Every word in it packed a punch to the gut and we think it really deserves this prize.

Music (Original Song):

Probably Win: “Down in New Orleans” – The Princess and the Frog
Should Win: “The Weary Kind” – Crazy Heart

For some reason everyone loves that damn song from that terrible movie and keeps predicting it will win. We hope not. The song from Crazy Heart is by far the better choice here.

Music (Original Score):

Probably Win: Up
Should Win: Up

Up deserves it, Up should win it. We won’t argue with this one.

Animated Feature Film:

Probably Win: Up
Should Win: Up

Again, no argument here. The rest of the nominees don’t really even compare. Honestly though, Avatar should have been nominated in this category instead of Best Picture. Yeah, yeah, not all of it was animated, but enough of it was to make it a whole lot less about acting than digital manipulation.

Best Supporting Actress:

Probably Win: Mo’Nique – Precious
Should Win: Mo’Nique – Precious

Most are predicting Mo’Nique will take this category, partially as a nod to the film itself because it will likely lose out on the bigger prizes. We feel that Mo’Nique deserves the Best Supporting Actress nod entirely on her own merit.

Best Supporting Actor:

Probably Win: Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
Should Win: Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

Overall, we really didn’t like this film. It was a bit over the top macho BS and bad accents. But Christoph Waltz was a standout in the film and in the rest of the Supporting Actor pack. We’d give him the statue.

Best Actress:

Probably Win: Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
Should Win: Gabourey Sidibe – Precious

We love Sandra Bullock and have nothing against her, but seriously – her role in The Blind Side was not brain surgery. Gabourey Sidibe, on the other hand, was friggin’ awesome in Precious playing a role most well-seasoned actresses would fail at miserably. Hats off to Meryl Streep, who should have deserved the Oscar any other year, but our vote is with Sidibe.

Best Actor:

Probably Win: Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
Should Win: Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart

We hope the Academy will actually get this one right as most predict they will. Jeff Bridges knocked this one out of the park.

Best Director:

Probably Win: Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Jason Reitman – Up in the Air

Kathryn Bigelow will likely win this one because the Academy Awards loves “firsts”. As in, the first woman in history to win a Best Director Academy Award. We think that’s kind of sexist. Being Best Director for overly dramatic scene switches, awkward dialogue and carefully controlled explosions doesn’t impress us that much. Up in the Air, on the other hand, was a masterpiece of subtlety and detail thanks to Jason Reitman – what a real Best Director winner should be honored for.

Best Picture:

Probably Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: Precious

No, we did not choose Avatar as our pick for Best Picture instead of The Hurt Locker. The Hurt Locker has spurred so much ridicule and anger from every military service member we know, we can’t even stand to hear the film’s name. Avatar, on the other hand, is basically a bigger version of FernGully with a smattering of other ripped off ideas thrown into the mix. Just because it made a ton of money and everyone in the friggin’ world saw it does not make it the end all and be all of film-making. For real, gut-wrenching, heart-tearing, serious film artistry – we give it to Precious all the way around.

The 2010 Academy Awards kicks off at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST on ABC.

Dear John Finally Ends Avatar Box Office Reign

After seven straight weeks at the top of the box office, James Cameron‘s sci-fi epic Avatar was finally pushed out of the number one spot this past weekend. Avatar fell to number two in the weekend box office, pushed aside by the romantic drama Dear John.

Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in 'Dear John' - (Photo: Screen Gems)
Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried in 'Dear John' - (Screen Gems)

We hate to stereotype, but we don’t find it all that surprising that Avatar got bumped off its box office throne on Super Bowl weekend and replaced in the top spot by a chick flick. After all, the ladies had to have something to do while their men were going all caveman for a bunch of guys pounding on each other in the modern gladiator event known as the Super Bowl.

Avatar raked in another $23.6 million at the weekend box office, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the somewhat surprisingly robust ticket sales of Dear John, starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum. The movie soared to the top of the box office with $32.4 million in sales – with a hefty 84 percent female audience, according to MTV.com. That’s good news for Screen Gems, which made enough in the film’s first weekend to pay for the movie’s entire production budget.

Avatar has managed to top nearly every record at the box office made by James Cameron’s previous epic drama, Titanic, but at least one will remain standing for now. Titanic held number one at the box office for 17 straight weeks.

With a total of over $2 billion at the box office so far, we’re sure the powers-that-be behind Avatar aren’t feeling all that bummed about losing out on conquering another record. We’re sure they are happily consoled with all those fat piles of crisp, green bills to roll around in.

>> Previously: Avatar Box Office Swamps Titanic Worldwide Record

Avatar Box Office Record Sweep for 7th Straight Week

James Cameron‘s Avatar has topped the weekend box office for the seventh week in a row. The sci-fi epic pulled in an esitamed $30 million for the weekend in the U.S., bringing Avatar within easy striking distance of breaking the domestic box office record currently held by Titanic.

Avatar (20th Century Fox)
Avatar (20th Century Fox)

Avatar has already broken nearly every other box office record out there, topping Titanic for highest grossing film of all time and taking the record for the highest grossing film world-wide. All that’s left is the U.S. domestic box office record and Avatar is expected to take that one as well within a few days.

Coming in second at the weekend box office was the Mel Gibson thriller Edge of Darkness, with $17.1 million. The romantic comedy When in Rome debuted in third with $12 million, followed by The Tooth Fairy, The Book of Eli and Legion rounding out the top five.

Avatar may seem like an astounding box office success, but adjust for inflation and the film might not even make the top ten. Films like Gone with the Wind, The Graduate and even 101 Dalmations would have topped it at the box office if you adjusted their earnings to today’s dollars, according to Box Office Mojo.

Chris Aronson of 20th Century Fox, however, says comparing box office sales in such a way doesn’t add up. “Back in 1939, the entertainment options were somewhat limited,” Aronson said. “That was a different world, when the only things competing with movies might be radio theater. It’s not a fair comparison.”

Whether or not Avatar can truly be called the biggest money-making film of all time, no one can argue the film’s success at the box office is spectacular. If someone had pitched us the plot for this movie and said it would make over a billion at the box office, we probably would have thought they were totally nuts.

>> Previously:  Avatar Box Office Swamps Titanic Worldwide Record