An article over at Variety looks at the budget for James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi epic Avatar. The movie started filming last April and won’t be released until December 2009, but it was originally set to be released next summer.
Variety say that the budget is between $250-$300 million, which is more then what Sony plunged into Spider-Man 3. However, Sony knew Spidey would make that money back, where as Fox are not guaranteed that profit.
Sources close to the studio admit there was a time when it was terrified that Cameron’s process wouldn’t work. Execs relaxed a tad when they got to see finished footage. Giving Cameron and Weta Digital in New Zealand (where substantial rebates make everything cheaper) extra post-production time made sense.
The later release date leaves exhibitors time to add more 3-D screens. The movie could go out on a three-tiered basis: high-ticket super-charged Imax 3-D, regular 3-D and old-fashioned 2-D — unless Cameron gets his way and refuses to show the movie on 2-D. That’s a tough one, as there are about 1,000 North American screens and only a few hundred 3-D screens overseas.
More are scheduled to be built in the next year, but several senior execs at rival studios predict that Cameron will persuade Fox to push the movie back, because the prospect of releasing a $300 million movie on 1,500 screens worldwide is too nerve-wracking.
Despite all the money being put behind this thing there is hardly any proof of it’s existence (none for us us normal people anyway)