Critics took their turn bashing M.Night Shyamalan’ s THE LAST AIRBENDER and some even stepped outside of the box to bash M.Night Shyamalan personally. Disrespecting the “The Sixth Sense” “Unbreakable” director and chanted that M.Night Shyamalan’s career is over.
However, reviews are often useless when it comes to the box office, which can disgust critics and make studios sign in relief. Even some poorly reviewed movies are box office hits and can save a franchise. The Last Airbender was opened on the Fourth of July weekend and in spite of review rants the film opened big and Shyamalan laughed heading to the bank.
The Last Airbender was opened in a difficult period. Twilight: Eclipse was destroying all competitions in its first weekend, while Toy Story 3 was still doing big business in its third week. All the awful The Last Airbender review scores may ensured that it would get blown by Eclipse, yet that didn’t meant that the film would be a bomb.
According to Deadline Hollywood, the film opened to $16 millions on Friday July, 2, 2010, behind Eclipse’s third day of $28.2 million. Despite all of The Last Airbender review complaints, the film was built in brand name. M.Night Shyamlan himself is still a brand, despite his declining reputation. In addition, the 3D prices also helped boost the numbers, even though most critics stated that the 3D conversion was terrible.
Let’s not constitute the film a bomb. The Last Airbender earned $20.3 million from 45 territories according to Box Office Mojo. It held steady to a $3 million first week take in China and a $4.3 million debut in Mexico. In two months, The Last Airbender earned $122.2 million overseas for a worldwide (domestic plus foreign) total of $252.8 million.
M.Night Shyamalan always planned to make THE LAST AIRBENDER into a trilogy. Now we are waiting for Paramount to green lit the project with a trilogy.