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Avatar, the most profitable movie of all time

Avatar, the most profitable movie of all  time

Knocking off another of his movies, Titanic, on 25 January 2010 with Avatar, James Cameron became the most profitable film director of all time. Let’s have a look at the key figures of the successful movie.


Staggering results

Since the beginning of the 1990s, it had been in James’ great spirit. In 2005, thanks to the evolution of techniques, he decided to finally resume his fabulous project called Avatar. Given his fame thanks to Terminator and Titanic, we can easily guess it was not such a big deal for him to find producers and an operational team.

Prestigious 20th Century Fox, Dune Entertainment, Giant Studios, Ingenious Film Partner and Lightstorm Entertainment invested an overall sum of $425M. But this money was quickly profitable.

Released in French movie theatres on 16 December 2009 and in US theatres two days later, James Cameron was probably not expecting such a success. However, the crazy challenge to exceed Titanic’s box office receipts was reached on 25 January 2010. Six weeks after its release and leading the box office, it exceeded the $2 bln symbolic threshold in the United States.  This step has been crossed for the rest of the world seven months later. Overall, the movie has sold 107,390,150 admissions in North American movie theatres which amount to a roughly $2,700,000,000 income (that is $6.95 per viewer).

For the rest of the world, the movie has had a way lesser impact. In Europe, the Canadian director’s movie has sold about 78 million admissions, which is proportionally way less important.

For example, in the UK, the movie is only fourth most profitable of all time after James Bond and Star Wars VII movies, eighth in France (Titanic being first), and only tenth in Germany. Our neighbors from across the Atlantic Ocean do not have the same taste as in the country where the world movie industry capital reigns.

The goodies keep filling the producing companies’ coffers. From the movie were launched a video game, two books (to know more about Avatar’s world), Mattel figurines, McDonald’s figurines, stamps in France, and an attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom amusement park. The latter will be out in 2017 and $500M were necessary for its construction!


An art performance for profiteering

It is no secret that the techniques used for shooting the movie have been innovative, and this is rightly so what the viewer enjoyed.  He revolutionized the 3D, and this was a key point for 20th Century Fox. The actors’ performances are seen on the screen as precisely as possible. The sequels have been thought to give a remarkable 3D effect in the movie theatres.

Furthermore, the artwork of the sets is extraordinary. Even though many criticize the story itself, most would agree on the aesthetic value of the movie. Each leaf has been thought through, each insect. And even the backgrounds are not simple texture : everything has been modeled.

Special effects’ amateurs are seduced by this visual masterpiece.


But this is not it! The 1,000 employed persons for the shooting are back next year for the second part. Cameron even announced that we will watch new Avatar episodes until 2023!!!

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