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Monday, November 2, 2009

Avatar: Don't Worry! It's Just Like Baseball!

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM

jetertar1.jpg

Fox has apparently come up with only two ways to market Avatar:

1) Just in case you forgot this fact sometime in the past decade or so, James Cameron is a visionary genius and you owe it to yourself to experience his latest epic creation, even if it does look kinda like Dances with Smurfs or Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Now with More Explosions;

2) Hey, America! You like baseball, right? Who doesn't! Well, if you like baseball, then you'll love Avatar! Sure, it's a movie about blue aliens—but don't let that dissuade you! Please! It's just like the World Series! But in space! Please go see Avatar. No, really: Please. We didn't understand what we were doing when we greenlit this thing. Please go see it. Um, it's just like baseball! Look! That fat kid's standing up and clapping! He loves it! Just like you will!

Christ. I'm genuinely excited for and curious about Avatar, but even I've gotta admit that what should feel like a cinematic event is instead gonna have a long, uphill climb just to get past its bungled marketing campaign.

Granted, Hollywood's never had to sell a movie quite like this (it's an enormously expensive film that was built for a 3-D infrastructure that's not yet in place, and it's a blockbuster that's reliant upon weird, psychedelic imagery that until now has only been used in pulp genre stories and comics), but goddamn, there's gotta be a better way to sell this thing than either Cameron hero-worship or clumsily mashing up movie clips and World Series footage. (I will say, however, that it'd be great if at the end of every preview for every movie, we saw that fat kid standing up and halfheartedly clapping.)

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