It may not have taken home a lot of Oscar gold, but many might argue that the jangly coins in Avatar’s pocket might mean a lot more to Fox and James Cameron. But despite the massive success they’ve enjoyed in theaters, Cameron and Fox want a little more of your hard earned cash.
They noticed that the demand in digital 3D immediately went up when the IMAX run was up. They’re concerned that giving up their screens to Alice in Wonderland may have cost them, in Cameron’s words, “a couple hundred million dollars.” They know people will eat up more Avatar. So they’re planning a summer re-release.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, discussions are underway to bring the film back this summer with additional footage. Cameron feels that he was forced to rush the film into theaters to make its December 18 date, and had to leave too many scenes on the cutting room floor.
There’s actually some debate as to how much extra footage there is — Cameron claims there’s about 10 to 12 minutes of scenes that he could toss right back into the film, whereas IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond claims there’s 40 extra minutes. However, an IMAX analog theater can’t handle a film over 170 minutes, so even if Cameron has 40 minutes of unused footage, he can only add 10 or 12 to come in under the IMAX limitations.
The scenes hinted at aren’t particularly enticing. The flashiest one would involve a tribal festival which sees Tsu’tey, Jake Sully’s Na’vi competition, getting completely wasted on Na’vi liquor. I believe Cameron has previously said he had to lose some of the humor in editing. This is probably it.
A re-release isn’t definite, and it hasn’t set a date, but Avatar fans won’t have to wait until the hotter months to revisit Pandora. Any theatrical re-release will follow a DVD 2D release, which is set to happen in April or May.
Cameron claims he’ll have a 3D DVD release in the fall, though many argue the home technology isn’t widespread enough to make it lucrative. And if there’s one thing Fox and Cameron see with Avatar, it’s how to make the film even more record breaking and profitable than it already is.