Fox says will make profit with sci-fi epic Avatar
By Ingrid Melander
ATHENS (Reuters) - 20th Century Fox will make a profit with James Cameron's 3D sci-fi epic "Avatar," Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos said in an interview, and dismissed reports the movie cost $500 million as "ridiculous."
Blending computer-generated characters and live actors, Avatar tells the story of a former Marine who infiltrates the native Na'vi people on a far-away planet to help corporations extract a mineral, but ends up fighting for the alien race.
It will be released worldwide on December 18, in the competitive holiday season.
Media reports have estimated the bill for the movie, including marketing costs, at about $500 million, and some have argued it could be hard for Fox, owned by media conglomerate News Corp, to make a profit.
"That's a ridiculous number," Gianopulos told Reuters on Monday during a visit to Greece. "It has actually no relationship to the actual cost of the movie."
"People keep repeating a number, which was as if you added the cost of building the studio 80 years ago to the cost of Avatar."
Gianopulos said the actual budget was some way away from the reported figure, but he declined to give a specific number.
"The movie was quite expensive, there is no question about that. But viewed now, from the perspective of its completion and having seen it, it's a formidable work and money well spent," said Gianopulos, who chairs Fox's movie and television production together with Tom Rothman. Continued...