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Last Post of 2009: Avatar Passes 800 Million, Year and Decade Wraps, Gilliam's First Short

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 1, 2010 at 2:25AM

Twelve years after Titanic, another late-year James Cameron release is climbing the box office charts. I thought I was safe with my estimate of $1 billion worldwide ($400 m domestic, $600 foreign). But Avatar is already passing $800 million! It could challenge Titanic's $1.8 billion record after all.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Twelve years after Titanic, another late-year James Cameron release is climbing the box office charts. I thought I was safe with my estimate of $1 billion worldwide ($400 m domestic, $600 foreign). But Avatar is already passing $800 million! It could challenge Titanic's $1.8 billion record after all.

Why?

Repeat business. There's so much to watch and revel in. The film is such a must-see (even the president went to a local Hawaii 3-D theater over the holidays) that people are going back again and again. One producer pal has watched it in all three formats, just to see how it plays. "I like 2-D for story," he says. "3-D is fine but I liked IMAX 3-D best."

For those of you who never saw the video footage from Comic-Con, Newsweek put James Cameron together with Peter Jackson again to talk film technology. UPDATE: And Variety's Peter Bart addresses the way Avatar is polarizing the right and left.

While some Twitter addicts would do well to stop tweeting about the wrong things, says Oatmeal, others may be ready to commit Web 2.0 suicide in the new year.

END OF YEAR AND DECADE WRAPS

Thompson on Hollywood

My ten best list of the year and decade are included in indieWIRE's exhaustive critics survey.

The New Yorker contributors look back.

NYT critic Manohla Dargis looks at the digital decade. Or is it?

Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the movies of 2009, too.

NY columnist Frank Rich thinks that Up in the Air is the zeitgeist movie for our time.

Cinematical collects the dumbest ad quotes of 2009.

This site celebrates the end by collecting end titles for Warner Bros. films.

Business Insider reports that revenues dropped 4.3% for media companies in 2009.

The Huffington Post wraps the magazines that folded last year, some 400. Of the 25 listed here, the only ones I remember reading are Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, Conde Nast Portfolio, Vibe, Time Style and National Geographic Adventure. Most of the shuttered titles, from Bride and Playgirl to Domino and Southern Accents, I never cracked once, and I never heard of I.D., Trader, or Conde Nast parenting magazine Cookie.

"A spiffy newsletter about all things Indo-cool," tweets PaidContent's Rafat Ali, is up at Republic of Brown.

To celebrate the release of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, New York's Vulture blog offers up Terry Gilliam's first 1968 short, below:

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Genres, Video, Daily Read, Winter, James Cameron, Animation


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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.