Thursday, 7 January 2010

6. How have audiences responded and reacted to the film?

Avatar was released in the UK on the 17th December 2009. Since its release, it has become one of the most talked about film of all time and there has been a huge hype amongst the audience. This hype has been build up over the special effects and 3D of the film has attracted a lot of interest. Avatar is highly interactive so fittingly, people have gone on various online websites to share their reactions on the film.

The Official Avatar page on Facebook has over 650,000 fans. The page gives fans the chance to interact with the film and share their views. The comments left from fans are very complimentary of the film showing how the reaction from the audience is very positive. Also, there is even more interactive opportunities as there is a links list of websites related to the film. One of the links is to the twitter page for fans to share their opinions of the films and this page has almost 20,000 followers. This is Technological Convergence as the two platforms are merging to reach the film audience.

On the official Avatar youtube page, the trailer for the film has nearly 1.5 million views from audiences all around the world and has 2,075 ratings from this audience giving it an overall five stars ratings. This reaction illustrates how much of a buzz there is around Avatar and also the strong interest. The youtube channel has a total of 7, 258, 230 uploads views

Rotten Tomatoes is a website where film fans get the chance to rate recent films. As it is a UK website, we get to see the reactions of the UK audience. Avatar received 82% 'Fresh' showing the overwhelming response. This puts it top on the Box Office Domination List.

Overall, Avatar has been one of the most anticipated films of all time and the audiences response has been fantastic. Evidence of the positive reactions are shown with the UK Box Office takings with a Cumulative total of £32, 815, 618. The film has received strong reviews including:

"Avatar is entertainment of the highest order. It's the best movie of 2009". Website 'ReelViews'.

"Surely the most vivid and persuasive creation of a fantasy world ever seen in the history of moving pictures". Time Magazine.

"It's a 3D movie people will look back on in years to come to comment on how it transformed cinema". The Sun.

However, with positive critiques comes negative ones as some believe that the storyline is not as strong as the graphics. Criticisms shown on 'Rotten Tomatoes' include:

"Avatar is overlong, dramatically two-dimensional, smug and simplistic"


"Stunning visuals, but disappoints on story and characters- which still matter".

Overall, the response from the audiences have been extremely positive and has added to the success of the film as a huge buzz has been created and the majority of critics have praised the film. Hundreds of thousands have shared their experiences on various websites particularly facebook and have given Avatar the seal of approval making the Audience Consumption strong.

Posted by Michael

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

The target audience of this film is teenagers, young adults and people interested in technology and it’s development.  The 12A certificate reflects this and shows it’s also been targeted at families.  
The release on 18th December 2009 was a really good weekend to open as it was the weekend that schools broke up for the Christmas break and the weather was really bad so a lot of people would go to the cinema.

20th Century Fox have targeted their main audience, teenagers and young adults, very well as they’ve used the internet marketing the film virally online.  As the younger generation uses the internet a lot and use a lot more technology, they picked up on this and used Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube and many other websites to narrow-cast the film to this audience.  This has obviously been a huge success as the box office numbers show.  Also releasing the game before the film was a very effective way to target teenagers, especially boys, as people who play the game would want to go and see the film.  

The game got a lot of media coverage, this makes more people aware of the game so the film and the game are working in synergy with each other as they help market each other.  20th Century Fox’s campaign with LG directly targeted people interested in technology as LG is all about using new technology.  Again the companies were working in synergy as they helped promote each other.  Also, the fact that people interested in technology would most likely have the most advanced technology and be able to access, for example, Youtube anywhere, anytime was a really good way of getting the film talked about between friends and families etc.

Posted by Jess

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

Avatar is being exhibited in all Cinemas in the UK, showing on 485 screens across the country.  IMAX cinemas have been the popular cinemas to see Avatar, where tickets were sold out instantly and the screens were packed for the first few weeks of its release.  People want to see it in IMAX 3D as it’s new and creates a whole new atmosphere for the audience, also as there has been such a huge hype around the film and it’s 3D special effects and how it’s meant to “change cinema forever”, people will want to experience that for themselves and both the cinemas and 20th Century Fox will make a huge profit from this.  Although there are cheaper screenings in 2D too if people didn’t want to pay extra for the 3D so again it appeals to more audience, this takes away from the whole point of the film though as they won’t be able to experience and watch the film the way it was made and how the director intended it to be watched.

Avatar was released on December 18th 2009 and on it's opening weekend in the UK the film took over £8.5 million, it stormed the UK box office taking the Number 1 spot in the UK too continuing from it’s US success.  It topped the box office by a long way with St. Trinians at Number 2 making £1.5 million, which on a regular week would have secured the top spot, so there a huge difference and this proves what a massive success the film has been.  According to an article in telegraph, Avatar: Changing the face of cinema forever, at the IMAX in Waterloo “Advance bookings have broken global records for a single screen: at the Waterloo IMAX alone, Avatar already had 47,487 ticket sales (a gross of more than £600,000) a day before it opened.

Posted by Jess

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

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

Official Website
20th Century Fox have created a huge viral marketing campaign for Avatar.  On the official website for the movie,, the introduction page is full of quotes from newspapers, reviews, ratings and the awards the film is nominated for.


Seeing all this hype around the film and all these quotes which all say how incredible the film is captivates and interests the audience making them want to find out more.  After this, the website automatically directs you to a trailer of the film, on this page there are links to ‘enter the official site’ and ‘purchase tickets’, this shows people have easy access to seeing the film.  


Once you get onto the main website page, it looks very professional and expensive.  Everything is of an extremely high quality, the pictures, the scrollbars etc.  The background looks like another world and the special effects look amazing, so the website is giving the audience a preview of what the special effects in the film would be like making the audience want to go and see it.  The website provides the audience with all the information they need about the film and the links to the Facebook, Myspace and Twitter pages for the film and also a link to the Youtube channel.



Century 20th Fox used Facebook as a way to target the younger generation, as they are the generation that goes to the cinema most and uses the internet most so the film can reach a wider audience, therefore creating bigger profit so 20th Century Fox and Facebook are working in synergy with each other as this benefits both companies.  The Facebook page allows people to both read and write comments, look at and add images and video’s from the film.  It also allows you to ‘Become a fan’ of the movie and Facebook page which means you can also communicate with other fans of the film and the whole thing makes the audience feel really involved in the film.

Twitter,, and Myspace,, are similar to Facebook in that you can leave comments and there is links to the official website etc.

Avatar has it’s own Youtube channel,, which has links to all the trailers, the teaser and the extended version, interviews with James Cameron and the stars of the film, some production video’s and also Youtube video’s advertising the video game and iPod game. 


Over 9 million people have watched the extended Avatar trailer on Youtube which proves it’s a great way to market the film.  Also over 51,000 people have commented on the trailer, showing that Youtube is a great way for fans of the film communicate with each other.


Posters have been advertised in newspapers, magazines, billboards, in cinema’s etc. to market the film.  These posters again state that James Cameron is the director and say a few of the films he has directed using star power to gain more audience. 


The trailer looks visually outstanding and is very action-packed with dramatic music playing in the background for effect, it also gives the audience a preview of the technology and the special effects you would see in the film, this would make people want to go and pay to see it in 3D at the cinema.  It gives a lot more information than the teaser trailer as we actually hear some conversation between the characters.  At the end of the trailer, it says written and directed by James Cameron, this markets the film well as people know James Cameron is a huge Hollywood director and has directed classic films such as Titanic and huge Hollywood blockbusters such as Terminator and Aliens.  This trailer was also shown on UK TV in adverts on Channel 4, E4 and Film 4 which broad-casts the film to a wide range of people as Channel 4 is family orientated and E4 is more for the younger generation.

LG and Coke Zero
Both LG and Coke Zero are working in synergy with 20th Century Fox as if they advertise Avatar with their products, their products will be advertised with the film so they both have a wider distribution benefitting and profiting them both.

LG is a worldwide known company and have created a website,, for their new mobile phone the LG expo.  The website advertises both the LG expo and Avatar together and contains loads of information about both.  The LG expo is their new phone using very advanced and high technology as people can digitally project 3D images, video’s and documents.  This relates to Avatar as it’s 3D and very advanced/high technology so this targets people who are fans of high technology.

Coke Zero have also created a website,, the website is meant to be in the Avatar world and some is sending  transmissions from the planet ‘Pandora’ telling people on Earth about the Avatar programme.  On the website you can “recruit yourself and friends to become part of the Avatar programme”, when you recruit yourself you have to put your details on so then 20th Century Fox can send you more information about the film promoting it further.  Also the coke can advertises this website and the film:


Video Game
This is an example of cross media convergence as 20th Century Fox and Ubisoft have worked together to create the Avatar game which could be played on the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii, PS3 and iPhone.  The game is meant to be of a much higher quality than any other game and game-players can play the game in 3D which will be a much bigger incentive to them to play the game and also to go and see the film.  On the game website,, you have put it your date of birth as this helps 20th Century Fox find out their target audience so then they can narrow-cast more towards them.  Releasing the game on December 1st 2009 before the film which was released on December 18th 2009 was a really good way to market the film as people who play the game will want to go and see the film and it gets the film more talked about as word of mouth will go round.  There is also a trailer for the game on Youtube with links to watch the movie trailer, this again targets the youger audience.  


The world premiere of Avatar was in London at the Leicester Square Odeon.  They used a blue carpet as this goes with the theme of the film and makes the premiere stand out from others.  The premiere brings a lot of publicity to the film as the stars of the film will have done interviews which will be on TV and in newspapers and magazines and the celebrities at the premiere will have been pictured and will be in newspapers and magazines.  This star power will get people talking about the film and going to see it.

James Cameron
James Cameron’s name has been used to advertise the film with all different media’s referring to the film as ‘James Cameron’s Avatar’, this will attract a lot audience to the film as he is a huge very well known Hollywood director, he directed the classic film ‘Titanic’ which won him 3 Oscars.  He has also directed many massive Hollywood blockbusters such as Terminator 1 and 2, Aliens, True Lies and many more.  Also fans of James Cameron himself will want to see it.

Posted by Jess

Saturday, 2 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?

Information on 20th Century Fox
  • The Distributor of Avatar was 20th Century Fox.
  • It is one of the six major film studios in America and due to this strong reputation, Avatar seemed likely to be a success in the UK.
  • It is located in Los Angeles, West of Beverly Hills.
  • The company was founded in 1935 after the merger of Fox Film Corporation (founded in 1915) and Twentieth Century Pictures (formed in 1933). This merger made the brand even stronger and gave more opportunity for Globalisation- distributing in a range of countries such as the UK.
  • 20th Century Fox were also responsible for the production of Avatar.
  • In the UK, Avatar was distributed to 507 cinemas in the UK to reach most areas and maximising success.
  • Also, the film was released in the Imax to offer a greater experience and to maximise profits.
  • The opportunity to watch Avatar in 2D or 3D gave the audience more of a choice guaranteeing success.
20th Century Fox have been responsible for many movie franchises including:

Due to the popularity of these films, 20th Century Fox have proved that they are a strong company and are good at what they do so this ensured that Avatar would be a Box Office Hit.

Although 20th Century Fox distribute a wide range of films with different genres. When looking at their big successes, it is clear that they specialise in films of different audiences-particularly family and teenage- and many of these films involve action and adventure. This shows how they have strong expertise and are capable of ensuring success. Also, now that Avatar has become such a big success, 20th Century Fox have build up an even stronger brand image and can ensure even more success in the UK for films they distribute in the future.

Other successes include: Home Alone, Die Hard, Planet of the Apes and X Men which were very popular in the UK.

The most recent films distributed by 20th Century Fox are Jennifer's Body, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 and You Can't Handle the Tooth which will be distributed later this month. This is an example of the wide audience range which makes it more likely that Avatar will be a success.

Official Website:
Posted by Michael

Thursday, 31 December 2009

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

Initial Production
  • James Cameron scripted Avatar back in 1994 and said "every single science fiction book" he read as a kid" were key to his inspiration for this film.
  • The production for the film was based upon new technology as Cameron announced after filming Titanic that he would make use of "synthetic" or computer-generated actors. This technology would appeal to the younger generation and a wide audience of film fans, setting the bench mark for future 3D films.
  • Visual effects house Digital Domain helped with the production stages working in synergy with the film as Cameron is a partner in the company. This is an example of Media Ownership and the advantages it has in providing help.

    Filming and Special Effects
  • Cameron's own Reality Camera System was used to film in 3D and this involved two HD cameras within one structure creating 'depth perception'. This high quality filming offers dynamic graphics appealing to the audience as it offers a full experience.
  • Cameron's aim was to appeal to the audience in creating 'an utterly immersive, entirely believable 3-D experience' with the equipment he had access to, EMPIRE reported in their Avatar special.
  • Avatar follows in the footsteps of 3D films such as 'My Bloody Valentine' and 'Monsters and Aliens' that have become big successes, so the 3D phenomenon guaranteed to be a success and attract a wide audience.

    The link below provides information on the filming of Avatar, and also the rise of 3D that has been seen in present times and the appeal.


    It took many years to reach the production stages. Cameron explained that this was due to waiting for the technology to become advanced as he know quality was important to film fans.

    Motion-capture animation technologies were used to create realistic computer-generated characters to create a believable and captivating story. With this, the audience could become more involved within the story as they go on a journey with these characters.

    The new virtual camera used by Cameron allowed him to see the actors' motions interact with the digital world on a monitor. He could then make live adjustments. This is an example of the impact of New Technologies in the film industry.

  • Avatar was filmed in 3D at 24 frames per second.
  • "The Volume"-a motion-capture six times larger than any used before was used to capture the actors' performance and facial expressions more clearly adding to .
  • These technologies enabled the film to look more convincing which was a main aim for Cameron as he said to EMPIRE magazine, "It had to look totally convincing. You can't fool people". Audiences reactions and appeal were important to director Cameron when it came to the filming.
  • However, the appeal that Avatar has is not just down to the special effects as Cameron is keen to stress that his aim is not to 'bamboozle and distract viewers' but also because of the storyline. The film finds a balance between special effects and story-telling which both add to audience satisfaction.

    The budget for the production of this film was estimated at roughly £172 million and is one of the most expensive films of all time. This has created a hype amongst the UK and has made Avatar a must-see movie. Due to the high level of production, the audience know that it is likely to be an enjoyable film and this hype, much like the hype of the recent film 'Paranormal Activity' has created a buzz amongst the UK.

Posted by Michael

Avatar Information

Director: James Cameron

Budget: $237 million however, there are many different estimations with some estimating around $500 million.

Release Date: 18th December, 2009 (UK)

Sam Worthington - Jake Sully
Sigourney Weaver - Dr. Grace Augustine
Zoe Saldana - Neytiri
Michelle Rodriquez - Trudy Chacon

Plot: Set in the future, Jake, a paraplegic war veteran, is brought to another planet, Pandora, which is inhabited by the Na'vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. Those from Earth find themselves at odds with each other and the local culture. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics.

Rated: 12A

Distributors: 20th Century Fox

Posted by Michael