Avatar is back in theaters, but will audiences get the “Pandora pullout” again?

the original Avatar The film is re-released in UK cinemas this month. (20th century workshops)

“You’re not in Kansas anymore, you’re on Pandora.”

But for mega-fans of James Cameron’s 2009 hit monster Avatar (back in IMAX 3D this weekend), the problem arose after its nearly three-hour runtime ran out…they weren’t over on Pandora, they had been descended back to Earth.

Avatar was a phenomenon, not just another box office giant, but a film that dominated cultural conversation as a new decade dawned.

Read more: Everything we know about Avatar 2

Its lovers (“It’s an impressive treatise on colonialism!”) and its detractors (“It’s the Smurfs who meet Ferngully: the last rainforest, but not as fun!”) just couldn’t help but speak of it.

08/21/2009 Reading, PA A poster for the movie Avatar at the cinema.  At the Reading Movies 11 IMAX multiplex cinema on Second Street in Reading on Friday afternoon, where a trailer for the James Cameron film Avatar was screened in IMAX 3D.  Photo by Ben Hasty (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

A poster for Avatar at the IMAX reading in 2009. (Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

The film’s financial success, like Cameron’s former box office kingpin Titanic, relied heavily on repeat viewing: once audiences left Pandora, they couldn’t help but book a viewing of return.

Fast forward over a decade, and with a long-awaited sequel finally hitting theaters, that audience can relive Avatar all over again.

On December 16, Avatar: The Way Of Water – the first of at least three other sequels – hits IMAX and theaters.

Watch the trailer for Avatar: The Way of the Water

Avatar is already the highest-grossing movie of all time, thanks in large part to a previous re-release last year in China that pushed it past the $2.8 billion mark and beyond Avengers. : Game over.

So, is the Pandora withdrawal about to happen again?

Read more: James Cameron responds to Avatar criticism

This feeling of being transported to another immersive world isn’t just something superfans imagine – it’s actively promoted in the franchise’s marketing.

A fan picks up his copy of Avatar on DVD for sale in HMV on Oxford Circus in central London.  (Photo by John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)

An Avatar fan wearing Na’vi makeup picks up his copy of Avatar on Blu-ray in 2010. (John Phillips/UK Press via Getty Images)

In January 2020, when new concept art for the sequels was unveiled, the Official Avatar Twitter Account Released“In the Avatar sequels, you won’t just return to Pandora, you’ll explore new parts of the world.”

Exactly 10 years earlier, in January 2010, CNN reported how audiences were experiencing what they called “Avatar blues” after the film’s release.

Read more: Did James Cameron spoil the ending of Avatar?

one online Avatarr fan forum at the time contained a thread called, “Ways to Deal With Depression from Pandora’s Dream Being Intangible”.

WASHINGTON - APRIL 25: A spectator dressed as Navi Warrior from the movie Avatar attends the 2010 Earth Day Climate Rally at the National Mall on April 25, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

A spectator dressed as a Navi warrior from Avatar attends the 2010 Earth Day Climate Rally. (Paul Morigi/WireImage)

He received hundreds of messages from fans who said they were depressed that Pandora wasn’t real.

Site administrator Philippe Baghdassarian said: “I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact, the movie made me happy.

“But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something that we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw that we could live in a completely different world and it made them depressed.”

Person with body paint imitating an alien character from the hit movie

An Avatar fan made up to look like the Na’vi. (Alamy)

Some of those who posted said they were upset because Pandora would always remain a place of fiction. Others said the film depressed them, not because they couldn’t be a part of the world it portrayed, but because it highlighted how we humans in the real world exploit our natural resources.

There’s an interesting battle at the heart of Cameron’s depiction of Pandora’s moon, whose native humanoid population – the Na’vi – are threatened by human colonizers trying to mine a mineral called Unobtanium (subtlety doesn’t has never been Cameron’s calling card).

(20th Century Fox)

Some people have experienced “Pandora withdrawal syndrome” after watching Avatar. (20th Century Fox)

On the one hand, Avatar portrays Pandora as an otherworldly idyll, descending with lush colors and floating islands. Those trying to mine Pandora see it quite differently.

Read more: Avatar 2 concept art reveals new flora and fauna

Mine safety chief Colonel Miles Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang, is the originator of the famous “Kansas” speech in the movie Wizard Of Oz. What we often forget is that he continues with: “If there is a hell, maybe you should go there to relax after a tour on Pandora.”

FILE - In this April 29, 2017 file photo, a landscaping made up of real Earth plant species mixed with artificial sculpted Pandora flora is surrounded by ponds and gentle waterfalls at the Pandora-World land-based attraction of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  The 12-acre lot, inspired by the

An image of the Pandora – World of Avatar attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida. (AP Photo)

It’s not hard to guess which vision of Pandora — Cameron’s or Quaritch’s — is the one audiences yearned to be part of.

At the time of Avatar’s release, there was no way to approach the experience of being “inside” the film. But by May 2017, fans could do the next best thing: go to a Disney theme park.

FILE - In this April 29, 2017 file photo, a Na'vi in ​​a science lab is shown and will be seen while guests queue for the Avatar Flight of Passage ride at the Pandora land attraction -World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida The 12-acre lot, inspired by the

Disney’s Pandora – World of Avatar attraction in Florida opened in 2017. (AP Photo)

Pandora – The World of Avatar, part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, opened five years ago and offers visitors the opportunity to participate in the Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey rides.

Later that year, Disney announced its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the studio responsible for Avatar.

Perhaps Pandora’s withdrawal isn’t as much of a factor following the release of Avatar: The Way Of Water, in a modern cinematic world where every blockbuster movie franchise is only a step away. become a theme park ride.

Avatar: Way of the Water hits theaters on December 16.

Watch: Disney’s Theme Park Ride Pandora – Avatar World

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