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Avatar Trailer Update

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 20, 2009 at 10:14AM

The response to the Avatar teaser trailer that Fox released Thursday was mixed.
Thompson on Hollywood

The response to the Avatar teaser trailer that Fox released Thursday was mixed.

Take Spoutblog for example, which posted ten movies that Avatar resembles, from Hellboy to Willow. Movieline dredges up the disastrous Delgo. Please! You might as well bring up the long-ago-and-far-away Jar Jar Binks. It's absurd, to compare a Nav'i warrior to Legolas in LOTR. Others are bringing up another fantasy world flop, Ferngully. Most of these stories are about traffic-chasing on a slow day. Avatar is tracking interest, which is a good thing.

But this does raise a marketing strategy question. The online trailer--even in HD--doesn't provide the immersive 3-D experience that the 3-D IMAX footage will give audiences on Friday's Avatar Day.

The question is whether Cameron and Fox might have been better off withholding some of the images of the Na'vi--the totally computer-graphic elements of the equation--until they could be viewed in context.

I was so wowed by the Comic-Con 3-D footage that I am confident that online naysayers will be singing a different tune after they see the Avatar 16 minutes.

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Studios, Video, Marketing, James Cameron, Avatar, Sci-fi, Twentieth Century Fox, Trailers

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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.