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Avatar May Debut at Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 24, 2009 at 9:37AM

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.
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Thompson on Hollywood

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.

Knowles has been promising a rip-roaring triple feature of new films at this year's BNAT, which takes place, for the 200 winners of his contest, at Austin's Alamo Drafthouse December 12-13. While The Lovely Bones opens December 11 in NY and LA, it makes sense for Fox to screen Avatar to the perfect demo for the costly sci-fi epic. (Neither the studio nor Knowles will confirm a BNAT unveiling.)

Here's Wired on how Avatar got made. Wired video plus interviews with Cameron on CNN and 60 Minutes are on the jump. On CNN, when asked to whom the movie will play, Cameron reveals his untenable position: "If all goes according to plan, eight to 80," he says. "We can't have a target audience. It's got to hit everybody."


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This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Studios, Video, News, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Avatar, Twentieth Century Fox, Interviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.