Avatar Poised to be Holiday Blockbuster

Nearly 12 years to the day since the release of James Cameron’s last fiction film, Titanic, the director delivers one of the most anticipated films of the year with the release Friday of Avatar.

Made with a combination of motion-capture, CG animation and live action, Avatar opens at more than 3,400 cinemas amid ecstatic reviews and blockbuster expectations. The Hollywood Reporter states that count will include some 3,000 3-D screens ‘ roughly half of the total screen count.

The film features effects work from Weta, Legacy Effects, Giant Studios, Framestore, Hydraulx, ILM, Pixel Liberation Front and Blur Studios.

The film has been racking up advance ticket sales and all that’s left for box office followers to do at this point is wait for the numbers to roll in.

Taking the counter-programming route is Fox, which opens the week’s only other major release, the romantic comedy Did You Hear About the Morgans? at just more than 2,700 cinemas. The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant.

Disney’s animated feature The Princess and the Frog, last weekend’s box office champ, also should have a strong second weekend heading into the Christmas break.