Avatar sets new records this week, whipping past The Dark Knight like an AMP suit running past a Batpod. But will the success of the Na'vi spell doom for Disney/Pixar's John Carter of Mars?
Variety is reporting that Avatar has finally beat the Dark Knight's $533.3 million record, by grossing $552.8 million domestically, thanks to another winning weekend. While the film still trails behind Titanic in the U.S,. the gap is closing, and it's already beat Titanic's 1.24 billion international sales with an astounding $1.28 billion. Making Avatar the most successful film internationally... for now.
Let's all hope this does what we're predicting and opens new doors for big-budget science fiction undertakings cinematically. But what about the next gigantic scifi picture from Disney, John Carter From Mars? A film that already has the the funds, the talent and is in production right now. Many skeptics are wondering if the similarities between the two, coupled with the timing, will inevitably doom John Carter to being viewed as "just another alien feature" by audience members.
The Toronto Sun seems to see John Carter's impending burial, asking "Will the mega-budget film - despite having a story conceived a century ago - seem novel to audiences enthralled by Avatar? Or has director James Cameron - who has acknowledged his blockbuster was influenced by Burroughs' work - stolen Disney's thunder?" So let's look at the similarities between the two via the Sun.
First, they are both star relatively small-name actors — Avatar had Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington, who were both teetering into Hollywood stardom thanks to work in Star Trek and Terminator Salvation, but were still relatively unknown to the masses. John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch, known best for his TV role in Friday Night Lights and Lynn Collins, Silverfox from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, both yet to hit their big main stream break. So that's one similarity.
Both films follow an Earth warrior who ends up in a foreign land, has to deal with the wild and gigantic alien wildlife, and residents, and eventually ends up in falling in love with the local princess. Alright, that another big thing the two films have in common.
And to top it all off John Carter will be coming out the same year as Avatar 2 is rumored to be on the way — in 2012. Not good.
But before we write John Carter off as being ruined by Avatar there's one thing John Carter has that Avatar doesn't: Andrew Stanton, the man behind some of Pixar's coolest creations. James Cameron may know how to make a lot of money with some very pretty images but you can be damn sure there won't be any "you're not in Kansas anymore" or "real legs" cliched dialogue in John Carter. Plus the story will be there — we've got a feeling no one will be saying "it's gorgeous but..." about anything Stanton attaches his name to.
Top picture via 10 Second Avatar: