Do you have the, uh, blues because you missed “Avatar”? Well, you’re in luck. If you didn’t catch it during its initial run last winter or on DVD in spring, the king of the world of the box office is bringing back his peacock-colored Pandorans for a limited encore appearance — already!
But, why so soon?
“It’s an interesting experiment,” filmmaker James Cameron said during a call from Los Angeles. “Usually, a theatrical re-release comes on an anniversary or something.”
Instead, the biggest movie in history, by every financial measure, is opening again Friday. The special-edition re-release arrives on about 3,000 screens internationally, exclusively in 3-D, with nine minutes of new footage.
“We were forced out of the IMAX theaters and most of the good digital 3-D theaters in March because of commitments to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and then other films. August was the next slot available for doing something like this,” Cameron says. “Maybe nobody shows up. I don’t know.”
Cameron believes there’s still demand left from newcomers who waited because they wanted to see it the “right” way — on a big screen in 3-D — and from devoted fans ready for more viewings.
Those so-called “Avatards” will be anxious to check out the extraterrestrial epic’s unseen computer-generated bits and pieces. They include a sweeping Na’vi hunt sequence and some emotional moments involving the central romantic relationship and the death of a beloved character.
But, Cameron also has another audience in mind.
“I’d like it if kids in the age range of about 7 to 10 discovered the film, now that their parents have seen that it’s OK or maybe they’ve seen it themselves in a safe space, at home on DVD,” the 56-year-old father of five says. “I think children respond strongly to its environmental message, but also to the whole ‘I see you’ part — the spirituality of it, the ideas about breaking down cultural boundaries.”
Kids better bone up, it seems, because the franchise might be with them into their adulthoods. The first of possibly many sequels could come in about 2½ or three years, Cameron says, and after that the possibilities are endless.
“We’ll keep making ’em as long as people keep wanting to see ’em,” he says. The director-writer-producer says he has a “whole solar system, a whole universe” of Avatar stories to explore.
In the meantime, the man who made the previous biggest movie ever, “Titanic,” is planning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the doomed ship with a 2012 re-release. For the occasion, the famously sexy cruise from hell will be seen for the first time in 3-D.
“Most of the recent conversions have been done wrong, too rapidly, just to cash in,” Cameron says.
So, Hollywood’s most successful technical innovator will take a full year to oversee the project and ensure it respects the original.
If you go
Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez
Written and directed by James Cameron
Running time 2 hours 51 minutes