Major marketing push launched for James Cameron's Avatar
LONDON - Twentieth Century Fox has begun a major push for James Cameron's $247m (£149m) blockbuster 3D film 'Avatar', taking out ads to flag up a 15-minute teaser trailer which will run online today and in a 3D version in cinemas tomorrow.
Free screenings are being offered in 14 UK locations, including four in London, to see the trailer ahead of the film's December 18 release.
Fans were directed by a full-page ad in Thursday morning's Metro newspaper to log on to SeeFilmFirst with a special entry code to claim tickets. Around the world, fans scrambling to get their hands on tickets caused the website to crash in several locations in the US.
The News Corporation-owned studio has also used its connections to make the online trailer available from 3pm today on the websites for The Sun, thelondonpaper, News of the World, Times Online and Sky Movies.
'Avatar', which has been described as "the future of cinema" and a "game changer", is from the director of 'Titanic'.
It stars Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez as a band of humans pitted in a battle against a distant planet's indigenous population.
It is the second most expensive film ever made, costing $247m, just behind 'Spiderman 3' which cost $248m.
Yet an unnatural amount of hype surrounds the film. It is far from the first cinematic release to feature 3D technology, even this year.
Pixar's recent animated feature 'Up' was available in 3D viewing, as was 'Monsters vs Aliens' earlier in 2009, with encouraging box-office figures for both.
'Avatar' is expected to galvanise 3D's impact on the industry and define cinema viewing for the future, according to the few industry analysts and Hollywood directors who have previewed the trailer.
At present, about one in ten cinemas around the UK have the technology available capable of handling 3D films.
Major broadcasters are also trying their hand at 3D viewing in the television industry. Today it emerged that later this year Channel 4 will air two, hour-long programmes with rare 3D footage of the Queen during her coronation in 1953.
Free 3D glasses will be given out through supermarkets across the country.
David Glover, Channel 4's specialist factual commissioning editor, said of the programme: "It was like turning the TV set into a window. You draw back the curtains and look straight back in 1953."
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