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James Cameron used Titanic’s success to avoid cuts in Avatar

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  • The director told executives that the Fox office building was paid for with money made by Titanic

Current holder of the highest grossing title in the history of cinema and considered one of the milestones of the seventh art, Avatar also had to have the strong arm of James Cameron. About to be re-released in theaters this week, the first Avatar (2009) had scenes requested to be cut by Fox executives. At the time, James Cameron asserted his name and went head-to-head with the suits throwing the success of Titanic on the table:

“I think I felt at the time that we fought over certain things. For example, the studio felt that the film should have been shorter and that there was a lot of flying around in the ikran – what humans call banshees. Well, it turns out that’s what the public loved most, in terms of our exit poll and data collection. And this is a place where I just drew a line in the sand and said, ‘You know what? I did the ‘Titanic’. This building we’re meeting in now, this new half-billion dollar complex on your land? ‘Titanic’ paid for it, so I can do it.”

James Cameron’s statement was recently given in an interview with The New York Times. The director added that after the film’s release, the executives apologized to him. Cameron also commented that he feels his job is to protect the studio’s investments, even if it sometimes goes against his own judgment.

Avatar will be re-released in theaters in a version with sounds and images remastered in 4K HDR 3D and IMAX. And recently, seeking to further increase the public’s desire for Avatar, Disney withdrew the 2009 film from Disney+. The feature should soon return to the service.

The re-release works as a kind of “warm-up” for the release of Avatar: The Way of Water, the second film in the franchise directed by James Cameron that hits theaters on December 15th, thirteen years after the original feature.

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