Ah yes. We have achieved Détente at last. The Mouse has been trying to make the box office pinnacle his own little hole, but before that happened, he had to boot one crotchety old fart out — James Cameron.
Back in 1997, Cameron became king of the box office with the stellar motion picture Titanic, which earned $2.18 billion. A cinematic feat like that was thought unreachable. That is, until Cameron changed 3D technology forever and introduced us to the Na’vi in Avatar and earned $2.78 billion in 2009.
Unbelievable. If only Disney could snap its fingers and earn that top spot.
You Sunk My Battleship
Cameron, being the “Get off my lawn” standard-bearer of Hollywood, tried to wax professional as long as he could … until April 2018. This was the fateful day when Cameron was promoting his facet of a six-part docuseries: “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction.”
While touting the achievements of icons like Spielberg, Lucas, Scott, Nolan (and himself), Cameron said:
“I’m hoping we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon…Not that I don’t love the movies. It’s just, come on guys, there are other stories to tell besides hyper-gonadal males without families doing death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process. It’s like, oy!”
The man who brought us Avatar and Terminator just made an enemy of the same nerds who made him a legend. These Marvel-ous acolytes created #BeatAvatar and bragged about spending more than $300 of their own–more likely, of their parents’–just for the Avengers to whoop the Avatars.
The snap finally clicked and Avengers: Endgame has finally dethroned the king. As of the time of this post, fatigue never sat in and Disney has earned $2.79 billion for its magnum opus of the geek kind.
It’s All Good…Now
Once the news was broke by THR, Cameron got the word and did what many hoped he would do (but few believed he could) — he congratulated Disney for that aforementioned well-placed boot:
— Avatar (@officialavatar) July 22, 2019
Classy. Even did it in the ancient tongue of the Na’vi. And in case those same nerds will shatter that tweet for it coming from the Avatar handle, James Cameron put one out himself:
Yes, it took Marvel more than a decade and 22 films to beat Avatar; nonetheless, it happened and James Cameron couldn’t have been more magnanimous. Of course, the Russo Brothers being class acts themselves could not resist but to go “Mystery Science Theater 3000” style and thank the man back.
Sweet, right? And, uh, don’t think the “3000” bit wasn’t slightly intentional to be ironic. Wonder what will happen when Avatar 2 is released. Maybe Jim and the Russos can exchange recipes or some such because you know Cameron is aiming for the pinnacle again.
Until then, there is peace in the cinematic universe. Just don’t look down, Mickey. Someone is coming for you shouting “Get off my lawn!” Braveheart-style.