Avatar: The Last Airbender

Last Airbender Opens To $3M at Midnight Screenings

In what is the largest midnight opening of this year’s summer movie season, for a non-sequel, The Last Airbender pulled down $3 Million of the expected $50-60 million total for the 5-day Fourth of July weekend.  It tracked very well prior to the release of the film, but response has been very poor among fans and critics alike.  It seems that the films’ biggest defenders are those saying that it’s just “bad” and not “completely terrible.”

I liked the movie, for what it’s worth.  I don’t think it was bad, but more afflicted by a studio mandate that the movie come in at under 2 hours.  That was the real downfall of the film, just as Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven took a real tongue lashing from the critics for having to cut the film to meet a certain number of possible screentimes per day.  Since, Ridley Scott’s director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven was released onto DVD and it was critically praised.  It is said to be a massive improvement on the film, with more characters and more backstory with better editing and better pacing.

We all know they shot scenes with the Kyoshi Warriors for The Last Airbender.  Is it possible that there is a director’s cut somewhere?  I mean, Night’s first outline of the movie had every single character and plot-point from the animated series in it.  The creators of the show took his outline and crossed out characters and things that could be skipped.  If Night had his way, it would have been a 6 hour epic for each film.  He is a fan of the show, remember, and meant no disrespect to other fans of the series.  He was just under contract to deliver a movie that was under 2 hours, based on a season that runs for about 8 hours or so, and that’s a tall order for anyone to fill.

Would you be interested in watching a director’s cut that is more faithful to the source material than the studio enforced cut of the movie?

Would you be interested in a Last Airbender Director's Cut (Extended Edition)?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

If the director’s cut is an hour longer than the theatrical version, would you give it a chance, even if you hated the theatrical cut?

If it was an hour longer, would you see it?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

How long should the movie have been, in your opinion, to capture the series?

How long should the movie have been to best capture Book 1: Water?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

15 Responses to “Last Airbender Opens To $3M at Midnight Screenings”

  1. Andrew says:

    I believe that most of the people that saw this movie on opening night were die hard fans like myself. Sure there were a lot of things that could have been done different, but what set off this entire movie for me, was M. Nights insistence that he change the pronunciation of the names of the characters.

    Airbender was a fun show, but when Katara first said So-kah, my first reaction was “wow, you’d think Shyamalan would have cast people who’d actually seen the show.” And it just kept getting worse, Aang now sounded more like the Ong (he’s the main character that millions of fans journeyed with, and M. Night changes who he is!), and then Iroh to ee-roh. I couldn’t stand it.

    Every single time a name was pronounced different than the Cartoon, I cringed. M. Night took our beloved Avatar, turned it into ahfatar, changed the names and tried to pass it off as what we all hoped would be a decent adaptation of the cartoon. When you change the names of the characters, you change everything. I honestly think changing the names

    M. Night, you took our story, a story that takes place in some alternate universe, brought it to your world, applied your linguist to it, and ruined it. I don’t know if aang laughed once in the entire movie, he’s a kid, but as the main character of the movie and tv show, you could have tried to give him some dimension.

    I was first in line for this movie, the first movie i’ve seen all year, the first “3D” movie i’ve ever seen. ( I didn’t see Avatar with the rest of the world because i was upset that it took the title away from Airbender). I thought to myself, there’s no way M. Night will mess this up, he’s a fan, he’s got kids that are fans and he’s got to go home to them…

    I will go see books 2 and 3 if they get made, and hopefully, Shyamalan will respect the fans and make the necessary changes to rectify the mess that was made of book 1.

    • Paul Martin Specter says:

      He used the actual international pronunciations of the names. It’s only in America that we pronounce the names incorrectly (phonetically).

    • Jack says:

      Totally agree with you man. My girlfriend and i have every episode on our i-tunes and we are die hard fans, and we both wanted to throw our popcorn at the movie screen when it was over due to the mess shyamalan made of this amazing story.

  2. JRM says:

    Kingdom of Heaven’s theatrical debut got far better reviews than Last Airbender. I doubt the problems would be fixed with the length increase. What about the acting? The exposition? The terrible framing? The stale action? Etc. There’s too much damage to fix.

    • Paul Martin Specter says:

      While true, Night it seems has a history of critic hatred. The framing, I thought was terrific. I think having lengthened scenes would allow for the room to breathe. Perhaps the directors cut would also feature alternate takes from the shoot in some circumstances. Who really knows? Plus, adding an hour of footage could fix quite a bit.

  3. firecraker says:

    so I just got done watching the The Airbender movie… and I must say I was VERY, HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED first off there was not a lot of things in 3D and the story got all changed up…. I don’t know why M. Night had to mix things up. everyone was pronouncing the characters name wrong, they way some events happened in the cartoon did not happen in the move like a lot of the key elements. for example the raid on the northern water tribe Aang turns in a big fish and starts to go off on the fire nation, but what happened in the movie????? nothing…AND Oh there is plenty of other things that should have been in the movie. All I can say as a Avatar fan I was hurt and left the movies in anger know that this could have been the greatest movie of 2010. All I know is that I would like someone else to remake this movie and stick to the cartoon story line.

    • Paul Martin Specter says:

      When Aang goes avatar state in the cartoon and starts attacking the fire nation in Book 1, I know what it is meant to represent with the character being so young. But I always thought it undermined the character. He is, after all, a “reincarnated” avatar, so the avatar state should be able to control itself to some extent. Plus, if the avatar isn’t supposed to kill, then the show totally goes against that, while the movie holds true to that.

  4. Tran G. Willis says:

    Why is there a Poll asking us if we would like a Director’s Cut?…Is it because you’re hoping you can show the poll to M. Night & Co. and convince him to release it?

  5. jeff says:

    the director’s cut would only have more of the same bad writing and acting. i saw it last night and i was glad when it was over- i didn’t want to be put thru anymore. This movie has far more problems then what was left out, its problem is what they did to what was put in it.

  6. Amanda says:

    I was not bummed after seeing The Last Airbender, and yes I love the original series. I also went to the theater NOT expecting to see a copy of the cartoon, but a film a bit independant of the series.
    I am pleased that the bigger, more encompassing message of the cartoon was at the forefront of the film.
    Understanding studio politics and constraints, I think Night produced a solid film. Truly, any studio could have NOT made it, which would be a loss.
    I hope that with the success of this film he will be allowed more creative freedom in filming the following books, which I think will please even the most “die hard fan” amongst us.
    I will continue to support the film and tell others to see it as well, knowing that I support future films to be made and support a message that should be heard by all ages and ears.

  7. KC says:

    M. Night Shyamalan talks Avatar: The Last Airbender here. http://bit.ly/d5RLxL

  8. frank says:

    I just saw the movie in 3D, I enjoyed the movie thought it was pretty good. THe movie does start off a little weak, some of the acting at the begginig isn’t very good and the first 20-30 minutes I was worried that I had wasted my money. shortly after the movie picks up and turns out to be really good. THe 3D i dont really see as neccessary, you see good depth between characters, but nothing spectacular, no arrows or swords comming out of the screen. I would reccomend it but not in 3D

  9. Jack says:

    He freakin screwed this movie up!!!!!!!!!!! It was poorly made. If he’s going to do the rest of the books Shyamalan really needs to step up his game. This coming from a person who know’s the series inside and out and if he makes the second and third book as horribly as he made the first book than he just needs to quit. The movie made no sense if you hadn’t seen the show, a lady sitting next to me in the theatre brought her son who watched the cartoon and about every 20 minutes she would turn to me and ask what was going on. In all honesty if he just followed the cartoon and made cuts in the obviouse spots than he would have been fine. In my opinion if he hired a die hard fan to critique his ideas and run through different things with him, obviouse parts of the movie that pissed off the whole original fan base could have been avoided. This wasn’t a hard movie to direct, a freakin 12 year old super fan could have done it, Shyamalan just made it 100 times harder than it had to be.

  10. I love Airbender and I didn’t even get to see it in 3D. We bought the DVD and I can’t count how many times we’ve watched it. It wasn’t exactly like the show, but I’ve watched movies based on books I’ve read that aren’t exactly the same. Sometimes I like the book better, sometimes I like the movie better. Sometimes I like them both equally. I love this movie and I love the series. I hope M. Night makes another chapter. Go M. Night!! For those who want to criticize my comment, know already this is my response… >:9p

Leave a Reply to Jack