Thursday, 7 January 2010

Audience Reactions.

How have audiences responded and reacted to the film?

Generally, Avatar recieved pretty positive reviews from the majority of its critics - 82% of 241 professional critics gave Avatar positive feedback.

Many of the reviews stated that thanks to the 3D effects and CGI, the film was definitely worth watching - many of these reviews barely refer to the storyline itself, making Avatar seem more like an artistic movie rather than anything else:
However, as with any movie, there were also some more negative reviews criticising the storyline of the movie and whether or not it really was as 'deep and meaningful' as it could've, or rather should've been:

As well as reviews, Avatar has recieved a number of awards and nominations. The film recieved nine nominations for the Critics' Choice Awards of the Broadcast Films Critics' Association including 'Best Picture' and 'Best Director'. As expected from a film like Avatar, it has also been nominated for awards praising its special effects including an award for 'Best Visual Effects,' which it also won. The Austin Film Critics Association placed the movie in its 'Top 10' films of the year as well as many other Critics Associations. The London C.A nominated the film as 'Film of the Year' and 'Director of the Year'. The film is even considered to be a possible winner for for 'Best Picture' at the 82nd Acadamy Awards due to its strong box office figures and its apparant successful screening that was held for the Acadamy members.

Audiences also expressed their views on Avatar using the internet. An example of this is via Twitter:
Facebook users were also able to write on the official fan page for Avatar wall:

All of these sources show that on the whole, audiences have responded extremely postively towards the movie - everybody who watched it seemed to agree that the visual effects were stunning, proving that the fact that the movie was in 3D and included loads of special effects helped it to make more money.

By Natasha

Target Audience

Who are the target audience and how have they been targeted?

Avatar attracts many audiences of different ages, with different interests and each person may be seeing the film for different reasons.
Many factors are involved to attract the audiences:
  • how it has been marketed
  • the 3D technology
  • the certificate
  • the made-up world and interesting make believe characters
  • the story involving American politics and also the romance theme
  • the well known actors in the film
Marketing- The first time i saw the trailer was in the cinema shown before Paranormal Activity, most of the people in the cinema at the time were teenagers between 16-19. The film has also reached a teenage audience by having its own twitter and facebook, when people join the Avatar facebook it comes up on peoples News Feed so this means many people click on it and also gain an interest for it.
Avatar has got a game released which can be played on many game consoles and phones, this appeals to younger children such as boys around 10+, the game is like many other animated action games which are played by many children so this might then interest them into watching the film.
Avatar also shows trailers on television and youtube which gets the attention from all internet users and television viewers which reach people of all ages.

3D technology- Many people enjoy watching 3D films as it is a new idea and has a whole different experience to watching films in 2D in the cinema so this reaches people who are just looking for something different. This may be older adults who are more fascinated in new technology than younger audiences who are surrounded by it more.

Certificate- It is a 12A so this means "Children under the age of 12 will be able to see a ‘12A’ film at the cinema if they are accompanied by a person of 18 years or over. The adult must watch the film with the child or children and not just pay for the ticket."
This means when adults go with their children to see the film they might then enjoy it and recommend it to their friends and work colleagues

Story - It follows the pattern of similar films, of conflict and battle so this appeals to those who enjoy theses times of film. It also has a sci-fi theme and contains a love story so these are two other factors that appeal to different people.

Actors- People might be attracted to the film because they are fans of the actors in it such as Sigourney Weaver or Sam Worthington. Also people will want to see the film if they enjoy James Camerons work and have enjoyed his past films such as Titanic, this would also be a more adult audience or old teenagers.

by Ella

Exhibition in the UK

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

Avatars UK premier was 10th December 2009
The film was then released in UK cinemas on 17th December 2009
It was released in most countries either the 17th or 18th of December but some countries such as Italy it is being released in January
It recieved $232,180,000 in its opening weekend worldwide

Avatar has been released in most UK cinemas and is being shown in 2D and 3D, it is also being shown in IMax cinemas across UK.
This increases the audience of the film because many people enjoy 3D films or watching films in IMax for the experience rather than purely on their interest in the film.
Because it is still being shown in 2D more cinemas can show it if they do not have the technology to show it in 3D. Also people who want to see the film for the standard film price can view it.
It has been proven very successful and cinemas have been extremely packed with people viewing Avatar.
When I viewed the film the cinema was full with mainly teenagers of both male and female and also the 3D screenings seemed more popular than the 2D screenings.
3D and IMax are fairly new technologies in the UK so people are attracted to the idea and fascinated so willing to pay the extra costs to view the film in 3D, this brings in more revenue for the film.


These figures show that on the opening weekend Avatar was the most popular movie, and also it was released in 503 cinemas which is many more cinemas than the other films meaning it was able to reach more people in more areas of the UK.

by Ella


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

Avatar premiered in the London on December 10th 2009 and was released between December 16th and 18th. It was originally meant to be released on May 22nd 2009 but this was pushed back to allow more post-production time and to also give more time to theatres worldwide to install 3D projectors.

20th Century Fox, one of the biggest distributors in the US was responsible for the distribution (and production) of Avatar. There was a 'saturated release' of Avatar in the UK - it was shown in over 500 cinemas, many of which chose to show the movie in two or more screens. (both 2D and 3D screens.) Although this was costly, thanks to the successful marketing of the movie and the hype generated around its release, 20th Century Fox knew this would not be a risky move.

The other movies released at the same time as Avatar were all very different and seemed to cater for different audiences - some of these movies included:St Trinians 2 - The Legend of Fritton's Gold: this movie had a target market of young females and it's genre was predominantly comedy.
Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 - The Squeakuel: also distributed by 20th Century Fox although this film was aimed at children and also had a comedy genre.
Humpday: yet another comedy, this movie was aimed more at young adults/adults.
Unlike all of these movies which were also popular at the time, Avatar was the biggest blockbuster with the highest budget and the most special effects. It also offered a refreshing change of genre from the typical 'comedy' films that were out and it managed to target a very broad audience - those who enjoy action and sci-fi, fans of 3D/those who have never seen a 3D movie, teen boys, families, adults etc. Also, an extended sex scene between Jake and Neytiri was deleted from the movie in order to maintain a 12A rating, also broadening the audience.

By Natasha

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


How was the film produced to appeal to the audience?
  • Since 1994, Avatar has been in development, with an 80 page script written by James Cameron. The film was supposed to be released in 1999 after Titatnic but according to Cameron "technology needed to catch up" with his vision of the film.
  • In early 2006, Cameron developed the script and worked on finer details such as the language and the culture of Pandora.
  • In order to appeal to the audience and to make the world of Pandora seem as real as possible, Cameron went to extreme lengths to make the language authentic (he worked with a linguist) and when creating the inhabitants of Pandora, he paid great attention to detail, using lots of modern technology:

- Motion capture animation technology: The process of recording movement and translating that movement into a digital model. It records the action of human actors and uses their movements to create digital character models in 2D or 3D.

- "The Volume" - a motion capture stage six times larger than any ever used before. This was used to capture accurate facial expressions. This worked by having the actors wear skull caps fitted with a small camera, capturing their facial expressions and eyes and feeding this information to computers. This allowed actors to transfer around 95% of their performances to their digital forms ie. their avatars.

Evidently, new and modern 3D technology played a large role in making Avatar the massive success it is today. Through word of mouth, discussions about the amazing new technology generated a massive hype around the movie way before it came out in cinemas. As 3D technology has not been used that much in movies, it appeals to audiences, especially those who have never seen a movie in 3D before.

"Ideally at the end of the day the audience has no idea which they're looking at." - Cameron.

The live action was shot with a modified version of a digital 3D Fusion camera system which Cameron had developed himself with the help of Vince Pace - Cameron said that the film consisted of 60% of computer generated elements and 40% live action. The digital high definition camera was used on other movies such as Spy Kids 3D and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3D.

In order to create the human mining colony on Pandora, production designers measured, filmed and photographed every aspect of the Noble Clyde Boudreaux drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico during June 2007 - this was replicated on screen with photorealistic CGI. More than a thousand people worked on production.

By Ella and Natasha

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Online Marketing

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

Official Website

First thing you see - quotes from newspapers, reviewers, ratings etc claiming how amazing the film is and how necessary it is to see it. Next, you are taken to the movie's official trailer which automatically starts playing. There are links below the trailer directing you to the official website page, download the trailer and to purchase tickets to see the movie - these links help to raise awareness of the movie and to make profit from its popularity.
The official website page is extremely snazzy and aesthetically pleasing with a scrolling panel, background music and good quality images - this starkly contrasts to the webpage for Paranormal Activity, which was much more basic and cheap. There are links to Facebook, Twitter and Myspace and the movie even has its own youtube channel. All of these options make it easy for the audience to interact and find out more about Avatar, intriguing them and making them want to see it for themselves.


On youtube, the trailer clocked over 8 million views as well as many comments and ratings left by fans. Avatar had its own youtube channel meaning that the official trailers were high quality and also available to watch in HD.
On the facebook page, you can leave comments, read comments, view links to relevant websites, look at photos and view more information about the film, its release etc. You can also see video clips of the trailers and interact with other fans of Avatar.

Avatar 'The Game'
The game also has its own trailer on youtube - interest surrounding the game may attract a wider audience to go and watch the movie. This would probably include younger kids (aged 10+) and those who enjoy games more than watching movies in the cinema.

This is the poster we saw most of the time on billboards etc, showing half of a human face and half of the 'alien' face, with the floating mountains of the world of Pandora in between them. It tells you key information about the movie including its release date, its tagline and the fact that the director's also directed the movie 'Titantic.' The 'human face' is that of the famous actor Sam Worthington who was also in Terminator Salvation. This could attract people who were fans of his previous work to watch Avatar - this is the power of star status.

By Ella and Natasha