Avatar producer explains how to market to kids despite PG-13 rating


A PG-13 movie is the sweet spot for maximizing the revenue of a film. Movies that are rated “R” will by definition have a narrower audience, while any child with a parent can see a movie rated PG-13. “We were very conscious as we went through Avatar not to make an R-rated movie,” Landau explained. “There is a version that could have been R-rated, and if Jim [Cameron] had the opportunity to go back, he would change True Lies. True Lies is an R-rated movie, although you don’t think of it that way. We were very conscious about making [Avatar] accessible.”

3D needs to be planned for, not added later

Landau also had strong words about films that tried to quickly add 3D effects near the end of the process. In his world, 3D is inevitable, and he said that just as wearing sunglasses is a part of going to the beach, the same could be said for going to the movies. We asked about films with poorly done 3D turning the audience off the technology.

“I think that ultimately people shouldn’t have to think about 3D or not-3D, I think it should all be in 3D,” he said. “I think right now you’re doing a disservice to the consumer and the filmmaker by trying to convert movies hastily into 3D.” He brings up Clash of the Titans, where the conversion process was attempted in seven weeks, without any input from the film’s director.

“Converting a movie from 2D to 3D is not a technical process. It is a creative process,” Landau explained. “You have to involve the creators into the process. If you want a movie to be in color, would you ever shoot it in black-and-white and convert it?”

He sums up his feelings on 3D simply. “For us, 3D is a window into a world, not a world coming out of a window. We want the screen plane to disappear when you’re watching our movie, not for you to be ducking during every scene.”

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Avatar producer explains how to market to kids despite PG-13 rating.

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