Christmas has come early for legendary lensman James Cameron – his first big-budget blockbuster since 1997′s Titanic is on course to be another massive hit. Film industry analysts expect Avatar, which opens Friday, to be one of the year’s biggest debuts, pulling in almost $100 million when it opens in 3,453 theaters in North America over the weekend.
“For a lot of older people, it’s going to be the first film that they see in 3D,” said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations Co. “Don’t be surprised if it hits that billion dollar mark (worldwide during its entire run) if it really takes off and becomes the event film of the season,” he said
Cameron broke box office records back in 1997 when his film Titanic became the most successful movie of all time. He developed his own camera from the film’s production and will be a breakthrough in terms of filmmaking technology.
The $100 million opening would put the the computer-animated, sci-fi film halfway towards making up its $200 million budget.
Avatar — which stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana — received four Golden Globe Award nominations including best drama film as nominations were announced in Beverly Hills on Monday.