When Avatar was released in 2009, it helped revolutionize modern 3D movies, with just about every major blockbuster in its wake for years released with the option for audiences to watch with an extra dimension. Much has changed in the cinematic world since those times, with the format not getting nearly the same kind of hype that it once did – but according to James Cameron, that doesn’t mean people should perceive that 3D movies are “over. Instead, they’ve simply been normalized to the point of not being particularly special anymore.
With a new remastered cut of Avatar set to arrive in theaters later this month, James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and the stars of the film gathered together today for a virtual press conference, and during the event, I took the opportunity to ask the director about the influence of the 2009 movie on modern blockbusters. Cameron spoke to how the world’s perspective on 3D has changed greatly over the last decade, and noted that it hasn’t gone away so much as it has become a normal thing. Said the filmmaker,
Continuing, James Cameron compared the public’s relationship with 3D movies to the way that that the film industry changed with the introduction of color. At first there was an extreme thrill seeing something different than the standard black and white presentation, but that thrill went away as every movie started to be made in color:
Of course, the influence of Avatar isn’t just seen in the way in which it impacted the way we watch movies; it also changed the ways that movies are made. James Cameron was humble enough to note that his 2009 film was hardly the first to make extensive use of advanced visual effects, but he did note that it successfully changed industry perspectives on digital cinematography – most notably with key wins at the 2010 Academy Awards. Said Cameron,
The movies to which James Cameron is referring are Christopher Nolan’s Inception, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Ang Lee’s Life Of Pi, and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Like all Nolan directorial efforts, Inception was shot on film, but the other three were all made on digital and, as noted by Cameron, were released theatrically in 3D.
Studios marketing movies don’t push stereoscopic releases like they used to, but the format is still very much an option for audiences at their local theaters, with a number of the biggest films from the past summer being released in 3D – including Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, Thor: Love And Thunder, Jurassic World Dominion, and Minions: The Rise Of Gru. Of course, the big 3D movie coming up at the end of the year is James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way Of Water, and he expects that the film’s performance will say a lot about the original film’s pop culture influence:
With the potential to revitalize the 3D market, Avatar: The Way Of Water will be arriving in theaters on December 16 (read more about it in our Avatar 2 What We Know So Far guide), but fans of the budding franchise won’t have to wait that long before taking another trip to Pandora on the big screen. The aforementioned remastered cut of Avatar will be playing in theaters starting September 23, and tickets are on sale on (opens in new tab).
To discover all of the films coming out between now and the end of the year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.
NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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