20th Century Fox's Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos says claims that "Avatar" cost $500 million (though the NYTimes initially said it "could cost up to") were "ridiculous."
"That's a ridiculous number," Gianopulos told Reuters, however refusing to divulge the actual cost of the film. "It has actually no relationship to the actual cost of the movie. The movie was quite expensive, there is no question about that. But viewed now, from the perspective of its completion and having seen it, it's a formidable work and money well spent."
Will the movie make its money back or even turn a profit? "I have no doubt about that," he said, which is sort of amusing to watch fanboys around the web sort of go, "oh good! It's going to make money!"
We're not saying it won't and we would never count James Cameron out (we sort of did that back in the day with "Titanic" when the press made it seem like an expensive disaster waiting in the wings), but it's still kind of funny to see a dubious quote like this was taken at face value from the geeks and thrown in headlines as truth. What the hell was the Fox guy going to say, "Actually, it cost more than that. We're really scared we won't make our money back and we'll be fucked"???
Meanwhile, James Cameron was on 60 Minutes this weekend, but the appearance was somewhat dry and boring. However, 60 minutes did say that the film cost "roughly $400 million-plus for production and promotion." Also Cameron give us pearls of genius like, "Hell yeah, [I gave the Na'vi character tails]. Tails are cool."
One technical achievement the director is proud of is actually quite sad. "Even when we were doing 'Titanic' twelve years ago, the shot at the bow where [Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet] kiss, we waited two weeks for the right sunset to get that shot. Now we just shoot it in front of a green screen and choose the right sunset later."
Geez, if that's not a sad pullquote for the state of soulless cinema, we're not sure what is. He's also quite modest. He tells crew members that for each project of his they work on they are "going to the Superbowl" and warns them, "don't get on the boat if you're not ready to go all the way." His reputation as a bonafide asshole seems calcified.
Cameron did use and abuse his painful "crowning" metaphor once again. Ugh. "You don't ask a woman if she wants to have more kids at the exact moment when she is having a baby, you know what I mean?," he said, apparently pleased with himself that he's used this analogy about 12 times in different interviews now.
Evidently Cameron is working down to the wire to get "Avatar" complete for its December 18 release date. Though he actually has less time. The world premiere of "Avatar" will take place December 10 in London and its U.S. premiere will happen in L.A. on December 16, but he's tinkering down to the last second. Here's the 60 Minute piece and a chase sequence that was part of the 20 minutes of footage we saw earlier this year.