Thursday, 7 January 2010

6) How have audiences responded and reacted to the film

"With Avatar, 15 minutes of which was screemed to audiences today around the world, James Cameron has dared to go one step further. The film is a rare, madly ambitious attempt to not just show but immerse cinema-goers in an alien landscape. And judging from what I saw on screen earlier today, Cameron has pulled it off spectacularly."
- Guardian Film Blog, 21st August 2009.

Fans on the Facebook and Twitter sites have given Avatar excellent reviews, with fans extemely happy with the film:

The teaser trailer has been among the most viewed trailers in the history of film marketing, reaching the 1st place of all trailers viewed on, with 4 million views. We can see by it's commercial success that audiences have responded well to the film.

Website Rotten Tomatoes has an 82% approval of Avatar. With all films, we will see negative reviews, but the majority has been in favour of Cameron's masterpiece.

The film has smashed box office records:

UK Box Office: 1st to 3rd Jan 2010:

box office

Our opinion of Avatar:

  • Personally, we were not able to immerse ourselves fully in the world of Avatar. The storyline followed the typical Hollywood blockbuster narrative but with the futuristic elements that we have not seen before. We agree that the film is a landmark in film history, as Avatar has opened new portals for the media world, like the 3D TVs being released this new year in America and Las Vegas.

"Occasionally, a film becomes a ubiquitous event, saturating the media as well as appearing in advertising, partner campaigns and other outlets. It may develop into a popular cultural phenomenon and become an international news item. That audiences around the world can take a new set of characters to their hearts, often within a very short period of time, indicates how powerful and influential a storytelling medium the cinema can be."
...This is exactly what Avatar has successfully done.

2009 saw the release of Pixar's Up, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Disney's Christmas Carol and Avatar to name a few. All films did well, but Cameron' long awaited and much hyped film has by far exceeded expectations. The 3D phenomenon has not flooded into other forms of Media, not just film. For example the world's largest plasma TV was unveiled only days ago. The 3D 152-inch screen can produce 'highly realistic images...not only for home theatre use but also in business, medical, education and commercial applications."

"3D TVs will take off this year as Hollywood makes a series of three dimensional films including this recent hit, Avatar." (Metro) This just shows that Avatar has not only affected the film industry and the major success of the film means it has reached cult status and will be remembered for years to come.

5) Who is the target audience and how have they been targeted in the UK?


Looking at the genre which Avatar falls into (fantasy/ adventure), the film's target audience would most likely be male teenagers and adults up to the age of around 30 as well as sci-fi enthusiasts. However, the film's huge, worldwide success shows us that it appeals to a much wider range of people.

In the UK, Avatar is rated as 12A. This means that people under the age of 12 can watch the film when accompanied by an adult, although most cinemas are lenient and let anyone in to a 12A rated film. By cutting the film so that it achieves this rating, Fox have made sure they are broadcasting to the audience as basically anyone can watch it.

Avatar has been sponsored by products such as LG Chocolate and Coke Zero. These products specifically target a younger market in the UK, especially those that would be more technologically aware. The link below is the television advert for LG Chocolate and Avatar. The advert was released in December 2009, prior and during the release of the film to gain maximum awareness as possible over it. The advert shows a young, smartly dressed man, which appeals to the main target audience of the film. It could also be said, that the young man being rather attractive, appeals to a secondary audience; women.

Reviews of the phone on the '3' website have also commented on its fit with Avatar, "when we reviewed the LG Chocolate BL40 here at we said it was “A handsome looking multimedia powerhouse”, making it a natural for Avatar which is being billed as a breakthough in film technology." This shows evidence of cross media convergence, giving the target audience in the UK different methods of accessing the film. The Avatar iPhone app shows another example of cross media convergence with the game being available to download. The use of cross media convergence in marketing Avatar demonstrates how far digital media technology has progressed over these last couple of years.

Like the LG, Coke Zero also released a television advert, promoting the AVTR Coke cans and the film. Like LG, they have also used an attractive young male adult in the advert to appeal to the film's primary target audience, and possibly to a secondary target audience. As well as this, it also has the 3D theme of the film running through the advert. The link below leads you to the advert on youtube. In addition to the television advert, there is also an AVTR website, a Coke Zero AVTR Channel on youtube and a Coke Zero page on Facebook with a secondary Avatar page. The youtube channel and the Facebook page specifically target a younger audience, who are more technologically aware.

The premiere being held in London was also significant in targeting the UK audience. With many newspapers and magazines reporting on the event, in addition to the news stations (most notably BBC, where the premiere was reported on BBC News at 10) there was a guarentee that there would be a nationwide awareness of the film.

The unique way in which Avatar was produced accounts to much of the way it has been targeted to the UK audience. The new technology which was used to make the film 3D and create the computer generated Na'vi meant that almost everyone would be talking about it. Tabloids, broadsheets, magazines, film websites and sci-fi websites ( would have all been talking about it, generating a maximum amount of awareness of the film in the UK. Additionally, the film being James Cameron's first in over a decade also sparked off a lot of interest and attracted those who may not necessarily enjoy a film from the fantasy/ sci-fi genre. James Cameron's name was expolited in the marketing of Avatar in the UK, attracting the fans outside of the fantasy genre, for instance romance (Titanic, True Lies).

true lies


Though the genre of the film may mean that the target audience in the UK is limited, it can be said that it appeals to many more people than was anticipated due to its success at the UK box office, where it has now grossed in excess of £32.8 million. Therefore, we could say that Avatar's UK target audience could be everyone (a broadcast), in response to its huge success in Britain. However, it can be said that they were mainly targeted through the internet and television, representing how Avatar has shown us the future technology plays in the film industry, as well as in our lives.

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

Avatar was released on 17th December in the UK and on the 18th worldwide.
The film is currently being shown in 471 cinemas out of 650. Being screened in so any cinemas nationwide ensures that Fox are able to broadcast Avatar and reach the most people that they can.

Avatar was made to be a 3D film, but as always with 3D films , they must be also be made to watch in 2D. This means that young children who find 3D films too full on can still watch Avatar. 90% of advance ticket sales for Avatar were in 3D- 3D films are more expensive to watch than in 2D, which means that much more revenue will be brought in for Avatar.. At Vue Cinemas, 3D ticket prices are extra:

James Berardinelli, film critic for ReelViews, praised the film and its story, giving it 4 out of 4 stars he wrote, "In 3D, it's immersive - but the traditional film elements - story, character, editing, theme, emotional resonance, etc. - are presented with sufficient expertise to make even the 2D version an engrossing 2 1/2-hour experience."

I work at Vue in Finchley and on the opening weekend of Avatar, 4 out of the 8 screens were showing the film. All shows from 3pm to around 11:30pm were fully booked, showing how successful it was. As Avatar was released when most schools in the UK had broken up for Christmas, so families and the younger audience would be more likely to watch it.

The IMAX has been the most popular place to watch Avatar. Cameron wanted the film to be a landmark in 3D filming...which it has been. The traditional version of IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems. The IMAX experience is so popular that showings of Avatar are already pre-booked for February!

3)How has the film been marketed to ensure it successfully reaches it's target audience?


  • This poster was released in February 2008; very early so that it could gain audience interest. It works to generate hype and secure audience appeal to the film.

  • The skin, colours and stars suggest a fantasy/sci-fi genre.

  • Lightstorm and 20th Century Fox logos are on the bottom as credits.

  • 'From the director of Titanic' also creates interest as most people know Cameron for that film.

  • The website is included which will give fans more info on the film and eventually lead to word of mouth.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: is the official website for Avatar. 20th Century Fox are able to harness the internet, along with other websites to create a viral campaign for Avatar.

The first page is filled with positive reviews which automatically makes the film look inviting.

The main page has a 'Pandora' theme with a running colour scheme and lots of interactive features. The trailer automatically begins so you are forced to engage with the film.

You can enter the official site,, download the interactive trailer and purchase tickets.


Below the line promotion such as reviews, news stories, features etc. have been extremely useful for the film. Those who hadn't seen adverts on TV or online are able to see info about Avatar in their favourite newspapers. The Times and The Metro, for example ran features on Avatar after the premier.

Publicists for Avatar have compiled press kits for journalists, containing cast and crew lists, biographies, notable facts about the production and a synopsis. This above the line promotion includes TV, web and Internet banner ads.

YOUTUBE: enables fans to watch trailers, teasers, feaurettesm, comment on the film and subscribe to the film. Fans from around the world can be a part of the action, as there are even many trailers in foreign languages, to appeal to a wide audience.


20th Century Fox worked used Twitter and Facebook as platforms to promote Avatar. The two companies work in synergy with Fox as they both gain coverage, but this is also a technological convergence which means that Fox will be able to cast a wider net and reach more people. The younger generation who have iPhones, Blackberry's and use the internet daily will access these sites and be more likely to go to the cinema to watch the film in 3D if they see other people



>>This website treats viewers like they are part of the 'Avatar World'. This interactive and engaging programme has many features, giving extensive information on the world of Pandora as if it is not a film, but real life.
>>You can watch commericals, view photos, join the Twitter and Facebook sites and register your details. Like the Eventful page for Paranormal Activity, this makes fans feel as if they are in control when really, Fox are getting details on who likes the film to narrowcast in the future.


>>The aesthetics of the website link to the film itself, with a 'two worlds' theme. Half the page has the Avatar side, while the other half advertised the LG phone.

>>This isn't as interactive as the Coke site and doesn't do much for the film, it merely advertises both products, again working in synergy.


U.S. customers who buy a Big Mac will get packaging with one of 8 different Avatar "Thrill Cards" attached. When these cards are held up to a Web cam, participants can use McD Vision augmented reality software to interact with the lush jungle landscapes generated for the movie.

A related interactive game, PandoraQuest, lets global players find hidden objects in three Pandoran landscapes, winning a membership in the "RDA Research Team" featured in the movie for locating all the items. U.S. players who scavenge successfully will get more than just the honor of joining the team: They'll also unlock bonus features in the form of scenes from the movie.


On the official game website,, you must enter details, which again gives Fox info on their target audience. The game is a prime example of cross media convergence as Fox and Ubisoft have created a game that can run on different platforms; iPhone, Playstation3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii + DS, PSP and PCs. This means that even those who may not have the newest Xbox or PS can still play the game on their PCs.

Players have the option to play in 3D, but glasses are not given. The easiest way of obtaining glasses is at the cinema, which fans will most likely have done anyway.


Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora, a 224-page book in the form of a field guide to the film's fictional setting of the planet of Pandora, was released by Harper Entertainment on November 24, 2009. It is presented as a compilation of data collected by the humans about Pandora and the life on it. HarperFestival also released Wilhelm's 48-page James Cameron's Avatar: The Reusable Scrapbook for children.The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure was released on November 30, 2009 by Abrams Books. The book features detailed production artwork from the film, including production sketches, illustrations by Lisa Fitzpatrick, and film stills. Producer John Landau wrote the foreword, Cameron wrote the epilogue, and director Peter Jackson wrote the preface.


Avatar has been promoted as Cameron's greatest project. The game title features his name and the trailers focus on his previous films as well. This means that fans of Cameron's other films will want to watch Avatar, even if they are not sci-fi or action fans.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

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

20th century fox

Avatar was originally planned for release on 22 May 2009, but the date was pushed back in order to allow more time post-production and to give more theatres worldwide to install 3-D technology. Avatar held its worldwide premiere in Leicester Square, London 10 December 2009.

Other films released around the same time as Avatar were also taken into consideration when Twentieth Century Fox (Avatar’s distribution company) decided to release it. Those released in the same week as Avatar were Humpday, Nine and St Trinian’s 2. Though there appeared to be little competition, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel was to be released by Fox the following Monday. Alvin and the Chipmunks would target the younger children and families over the Christmas period which Avatar would possibly fail to attract. Thus, Fox have attempted to sustain two of their films in a competitive environment by releasing two films which would target a wide spectrum of people.


alvin and the chipmunks: the squeakquel

The fact that the film premiered in London possibly accounts to much of its success in the UK. The media hype generated before, during and after the premiere would have ensured that as many people as possible were aware of the film’s existence. It was released on Thursday 17 December 2009. On its opening weekend, Avatar grossed around £8.5 million. In contrast to this, St Trinian’s 2, released in the UK the next day only managed to gross £1.6 million that same weekend.

st trinians 2

Avatar seems to have combated the issue of film piracy both in the UK and around the world. As it is almost impossible to film and pirate and 3D film, there will, hopefully, be fewer pirate copies of Avatar circulating around Britain. However, though the film has been pirated in the 2D format, it is more likely that people would want to experience the film in 3D, as the director intended. Therefore, demand for the film when it is released on Blu-Ray or DVD will most possibly still remain high.

Twentieth Century Fox have gone for a nationwide release in the UK, and it is currently showing in 471 cinemas out of 650 ( Being screened in so many cinemas nationwide ensures that Fox are able to reach as much of Avatar’s UK target audience as possible. More cinemas which screen the film ensure more people see the film. There is also more of a chance of the film sustaining its success in the competitive market of the UK film industry if it is more widely available for people to access.

1) How was the film produced to appeal to the audience?

james cameron

James Cameron

Avatar was first envisioned by director, James Cameron around the mid 90s. Despite writing an eighty page scriptment for Avatar in 1995, there were delays in producing the film due to the lack of technology available at the time. Production was delayed till 2005, when the technology was advanced enough to create the realistic computer generated figures of Avatar.

The attention Cameron put into Avatar could have added to its successes. Having over a decade to develop to script and the plot meant that every aspect of the film and its story was covered. Cameron has gone as far as to develop a language for the Na’vi, in addition to the culture and the geography of the world of Pandora. The realism portrayed through the attention to detail is one of the main factors which makes the film appealing to the audience. Without Cameron’s meticulous attention to detail there would have been less chance of the audience being so involved and so absorbed into the film.

neytiri and jake

Avatar appeals to audiences because of the realism of the computer generated figures, which were created using motion capture animation technology. Principle photography was planned to begin in February 2007, and in the following August, Weta Digital (who have also produced effects for films such as King Kong and Lord of the Rings), a visual effects company signed on with Cameron to help produce Avatar. Additionally, Cameron also used his own Reality Camera System to film in 3-D. The system used two combined high-definition cameras to create depth perception. This shows technological convergence was needed to create the effects of Avatar and shows us how the future of film will change. Without the technology used to create Avatar the film may not have been such a worldwide success. His new virtual camera allowed him to allowed him to monitor the characters movements in real-time, as if shooting the film in live-action.

weta digital

king kong

Movie-goers expectations from the films they watch are constantly increasing due to the improvements in technology, for instance the computer generated figure of ‘Gollum’ in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Avatar’s massive £300 million budget meant that the film had to be a success in order for the producers, Twentieth Century Fox, generate a profit from it. Judging from the worldwide success of the film, Cameron managed to meet, and possibly exceed audience expectations with the visual masterpiece he created in Avatar.


Monday, 4 January 2010

Avatar World Premiere: London 10 Dec 2009

DATE: 10 DEC 2009

avatar world premiere

On the night of the London world premiere of Avatar, hundreds of fans lined Leicester Square's blue carpet premiere (to go with the theme of the blue-skinned Na'vi's of the film).

The press conferences held for Avatar prior to the release of the film were held mainly in the US. Therefore, news about the film over here in the UK would have been limited and fewer people would know of its existence and less hype would have been generated here, unlike in the US. The London world premiere gave people in the UK a chance to acknowledge the film and the media which were present also helped to spread the word.

Representatives and journalists from the tabloids and the broadsheets were invited to the premiere, where the press pens opened around 4pm. With a wide variety of papers there including (The Times, The Sun and The Guardian) there was a guarentee that all types of people in Britain would know of the significance of Avatar. Including the papers, major magazines were also present at the premiere, for instance, InStyle. Such magazines reporting that the premiere mean that women (who may or may not have been interested in the film) would be more attracted into going to see Avatar.

In addition to the main cast, there were several notable British celebrities present too, including Simon Pegg and Danny Boyle. Well known British celebrities being present at the premiere may have helped to attract and intrest those who were wary of another Hollywood blockbuster.