Avatar: Breaks Records and Sparks Comments

(Fox Press Release) 20th Century Fox announced today that the teaser trailer for the upcoming James Cameron-directed AVATAR has become the most-viewed trailer ever on the Apple website. It has registered over four million streams in its first day on the site, shattering the previous record of 1.7 million.

On Friday, the trailer also arrived in theaters around the world, presented in all formats, including IMAX 3-D, IMAX 2-D, digital 3-D, digital 2-D, and 35mm 2-D.

AVATAR opens in theaters everywhere on December 18th, 2009.

AVATAR is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people.

More than ten years in the making, AVATAR marks Cameron's return to feature directing since helming 1997's TITANIC, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars including Best Picture.

Review of Avatar Day:

While the AvatarTrailer was breaking records on Friday, Fox and James Cameron created some additional "AVATAR Day" buzz by screening a special 16-minute 3-D reel at select theaters, including IMAX.

The footage certainly take us deeper into the psychedelic world of Planet Pandora, with its 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned humanoids called Na'vi, trippy landscapes and even trippier dinosaur-like creatures (Skull Island on acid?). In fact, you might call it AVATAR under a black lamp, considering its phosphorescent emphasis of blue, green and purple.

The six clips consisted of the live-action intro of Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) debriefing soldiers about Pandora and the Na'vi and the wheelchair-bound former Marine Jake (Sam Worthington) entering the scene; Jake being prepped to be remotely integrated with his Na'vi avatar by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), which is our first glimpse of the live-action/CG hybrid; Avatar-assisted Jake and Dr. Augustine in the Pandora jungle, and Jake coming face to face with a rhino-like creature; Native Na'vi Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) rescuing Jake from a pack of creatures, transitioning to a nighttime jungle, which introduces the stunning phosphorescent colors; the scene continues with Neytiri expressing anger over having to kill the creatures; Jake trying to tame a dragon-like creature like riding a wild bull, and riding it triumphantly.

At times, the amount of visual stimuli on Pandora is overwhelming. It's like LORD OF THE RINGS meets KING KONG meets ALIENS meets PREDATOR meets a lot of other films and videogames. However, it's certainly a unique blend of styles and influences. The performance capture is sufficiently stylized to steer clear of The Uncanny Valley, and is helped by stylized lighting as well; the mix of CG characters and environments with occasional live-action background shots blends seamlessly. As far as the use of 3-D, not only is it multilayered, immersive and free of motion blur, but, because the camera stays so close to the characters, particularly Jake, we are also introduced to a new kind of stereoscopic POV experience. The footage delivers magnificent spectacle -- Can't wait to see the complete movie!

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