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Stunning Avatar

  • Source: Global Times
  • [23:36 December 24 2009]
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A scene from Avatar. Below: James Cameron in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Guo Yingguang

By Mao Renjie

China has become an increasingly appealing market for Hollywood films, so it was inevitable that Academy Award-winning director James Cameron would touch down in Beijing Wednesday to promote his latest big-budget movie, Avatar.

During his 20-hour stay in the city, he shared with local media and some lucky fans details of his new film and shared his insights on China's growing film industry.

Having toured numerous countries for the promotion of Avatar since the film globally premiered on December 10, Cameron said he anticipated the visit to China for some time and apologized for his hoarse and tired voice.

"It is so sad for a director not being able to shout," he joked at the beginning of the press conference Wednesday afternoon, announcing that the 3D science fiction film will open in China on January 4.

Cameron collected 360 million yuan (US$52.7 million) at the box office in China with his blockbuster Titanic in 1998, a record that held for ten years until it was broken by Transformers in 2008.

Considering that another computer-generated, live action flick, 2012, has sold more movie tickets in China than in the US, the director said he is positive about Avatar's performance in China.

"Our partner here, the China Film Group, has given us great confidence," he explained, saying that the number of 3D screens has grown from 500 to 600 in the past month, a never-seen-before growth in Chinese mainland.

China is second only to the US as the country with the most 3D screens. Cameron said the screening of Avatar in China has specific importance as a test of future 3D film development

"I'm very interested in the 3D film market in China. I cannot predict the box office results here, but I look forward to the test results."

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