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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

question of the day: Is it too soon for ‘Avatar’ tickets to be on sale?

Avatar, James Cameron’s eagerly awaited science fiction flick (watch the trailer), doesn’t open till December 18, but tickets for the first opening-day midnight shows are already on sale for some locations:

Online ticketers MovieTickets.com and Fandango on Friday began ringing up sales for “Avatar” performances at more than 75 AMC locations, most of them Imax 3D venues.

“Tickets being put on sale for a film four months in advance is unheard of,” MovieTickets executive vice president Joel Cohen said. “The fact that tickets have already been sold really speaks to the tremendous buzz the film has already created and the power of James Cameron at the box office.”


“Audiences are hungry for fresh fare with original storytelling,” Fandango spokesman Harry Medved said. “And with ‘Avatar,’ you have no idea where the story is going to go.”

Really? We’ve been promised a groundbreakingly new visual experience, but I haven’t heard any buzz about a story that is wildly original. As always, I’d love to be wrong about that, but nothing that I’ve seen or heard about Avatar so far suggests anything other than a pretty traditional kind of tale.

Is that Fandango spokesman right? Is the demand for this film so great that we should be worrying about securing tickets four months in advance? Or is it too soon for ‘Avatar’ tickets to be on sale?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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