Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Defense of Avatar

Avatar is now the most successful movie of all time, so it's time for people to start taking cheap shots. Avatar was far from being my favorite movie, but I don't like cheap shots, and I hate badly written articles that make no sense on any logical level. So I was annoyed when I saw the following blurb on yahoo's front page:

'Avatar' record comes with asterisk

When box office returns are adjusted for inflation, James Cameron's epic isn't even close to the top.

I'm already suspicious about this article because I think the whole notion of "adjusting films for inflation" is fundamentally flawed to begin with, and just raises more questions than it answers. Adjusting grosses for inflation only takes into account the ticket prices and views that one, tiny detail as though it's in a vacuum. So, yeah, admission to Gone With the Wind may have only cost a dime while admission to Avatar costs about ten (or even more than that in IMAX) but so what? According to news stories like this one, that is somehow supposed to diminish the success of films like Avatar because it means less people saw this hit than did other films like Gone With the Wind and Star Wars.

Of course, that completely ignores other factors, such as how nobody was pirating movies back when those movies were out, there wasn't as much competition for viewers' attention, and not just from other films at the theater but from TV, DVDs, Videogames, the Internet, and whatever else kids are up to these days. Also, tickets for Avatar in IMAX 3D may have greatly contributed to its financial success, but that also means this film is so successful that people are willing to pay a premium fee to see it. I think that negates any supposed inflation in ticket prices.

But that's just my opinion on the matter. That isn't to diminish the success of films like Gone With the Wind, Star Wars, et all, but that people shouldn't be diminishing the success of this film either, simply because they are viewing it from the distorted lens of supposed "inflation."

End of rant.

No comments: