Tickets go on sale for December bow of "Avatar"

Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:36am EDT
 
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - James Cameron's "Avatar" won't reach movie theaters for almost four months, but tickets for the much-hyped sci-fi action movie are already on sale.

Touted as a potential watershed release -- displaying the creative possibilities of both 3-D cinema and motion-capture production techniques -- "Avatar" is scheduled for a global bow on December 18. Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment is co-producing with distributor 20th Century Fox, which has been stoking exhibitors' appetite for the release through screenings of extended clip reels from the film.

On Friday, the studio staged public screenings of a special 16-minute "Avatar" trailer at 100 Imax theaters. Now, AMC has decided to sell tickets to the movie's opening-day midnight performances.

Online ticketers MovieTickets.com and Fandango on Friday began ringing up sales for "Avatar" performances at more than 75 AMC locations, most of them Imax 3D venues.

"Tickets being put on sale for a film four months in advance is unheard of," MovieTickets executive vice president Joel Cohen said. "The fact that tickets have already been sold really speaks to the tremendous buzz the film has already created and the power of James Cameron at the box office."

"Avatar" is Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's "Titanic," which is still the highest-grossing film of all time.

"Audiences are hungry for fresh fare with original storytelling," Fandango spokesman Harry Medved said. "And with 'Avatar,' you have no idea where the story is going to go."

Sales of the midnight tickets were said to be "healthy."   Continued...

 
<p>Visitors wear 3D glasses as they watch a preview of the upcoming movie "Avatar" during the 40th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>