By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 20, 2010 at 4:19AM
If you run a movie site that seeks to service readers --and build traffic--then you don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what works. Certain names, stars, projects have heat. When you write about James Cameron, David Fincher, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, franchises like Avatar, Inception, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Bourne, Twilight or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish or American), or hot films like The Social Network (or Mark Zuckerberg), they will come. And despite David Poland's sloppy rant about headlines with numbers in them, guess what? They pull more readers: folks love races, contests, drama, debates, polls, controversy, exclusives (which is why the word is so rampantly abused--there's a difference between a one-on-one interview and an exclusive) and yes, lists.
Thus if you go to a site like Wopular, which posts a feed of the last five or so headlines from movie sites and newspaper movie sections, you will see that when stories break on the subjects that everyone knows everyone will read, the SAME STORY IS REPEATED OVER AND OVER. On today's Twitterfeed, for example, the James Cameron Avatar sequels story keeps popping up:
James Cameron Will Shoot ‘Avatar 2 and 3′ Back-To-Back: James Cameron has confirmed that he plans to film 'Avatar ...TV and Movie News.
James Cameron is shooting the 'Avatar' sequels together. Also, he has nothing to do with the 'True Lies' show...Screen Junkies.
James Cameron Needs to Future-Proof Before Doing 'Avatar' 2 & 3...Film School Rejects.
James Cameron Will Shoot 'Avatar 2 and 3' Back-To-Back...Screen Rant.
Who's happiest? Whoever originally broke that story--in this case Cameron and producer Jon Landau appeared at a global press conference Monday for the extended Avatar Blu Ray--because most links will go to them. (Screen Rant seems to be the source for most of this often uncredited reporting.) Here's the statement Cameron made about the Avatar sequels:
“Our plan right now is to do 2 & 3 as a single large production and release them a year apart. It's in progress right now. There's a lot of writing, a lot of designing and there’s a lot of tech work that we’re going to do. In order to do that, we have to refine our technical processes beyond the end of where we were finishing [Avatar] a year ago. We need to future-proof ourselves out five or six years to the end of the third film.”
He also talked Cleopatra:
“I haven’t made any decisions about that. Here’s a decision. I’m not going to work on a film between 2 and 3. It’s really just a question of whether I do one between now and when we start 2. We’re still evaluating how much of our tech work, how much of our facility work, how long it’s going to take. So that’s not decided as of right now. I’d love to just start on Avatar 2 right now but I don't know if that’s possible to do or if it makes sense to wait.”