a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Italian moviegoers break record with Avatar

Posted on the January 27th, 2010

Opening later in Italy than in much of the world (here),  “Avatar” has broken an Italian box office record, according to CINEUROPA:

No film has ever grossed so much in its opening weekend in Italy: after Friday’s release, with figures at over €2m, Avatar earned almost €4m on Saturday to reach just over €9.6m in three days…

That was as of January 18. As of last weekend, the futuristic film was still number one, see here.

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Avatar finally opens in Rome

Posted on the January 17th, 2010

Into Rome yesterday for the 2:40 showing of “Avatar.”  Late to open in Italy, “Avatar” just arrived here on Friday.

Saw the film (English language version) at Warner Village cineplex next to the Piazza Repubblica. Being that it was afternoon, and a very dull gray, chilly afternoon at that — no crowds, walk in, no waiting, great seats.

I wanted to see it in the theater, as I’ve read many others did also, because of the visuals and special effects. This moviegoer’s opinion: rave reviews justified! Wasn’t walking on air on the way out, though. The film’s theoretical context is too true to present day, tragic, real world conditions.

Checking out critics’ reviews, I liked Robert Roger Ebert’s (Chicago Sun-Times, Dec 11, 2009) take:

“Avatar” is not simply a sensational entertainment, although it is that. It’s a technical breakthrough. It has a flat-out Green and anti-war message. It is predestined to launch a cult. It contains such visual detailing that it would reward repeating viewings. It invents a new language, Na’vi, as “Lord of the Rings” did, although mercifully I doubt this one can be spoken by humans, even teenage humans. It creates new movie stars. It is an Event, one of those films you feel you must see to keep up with the conversation.

“Avatar” is doing fantastically great in overseas boxoffice, much better than domestic performance in USA, according to this  update from the Hollywood Reporter (“‘Avatar’ still dominating overseas boxoffice” Jan 10, 2010):

Now the second-highest-grossing title ever worldwide, “Avatar” wound down a month of total foreign theatrical domination on the weekend with a boxoffice tally of $151 million – $8 million more than was reported Sunday and a 10% increase from the prior weekend — from 15,301 screens in 111 markets.

“Avatar’s” overseas cume (cumelative earnings) of $915 million significantly outpaces comparable domestic action, more than double its $430.7 million domestic take in the U.S. and Canada.

And that was a week ago.

Not all rosy reception in Italy, however. Parents groups staged a protest because “Avatar” was released here with a general admission rating, unlike the PG rating of most other countries (“Italian parents stage ‘Avatar’ protest” Variety, Jan 14, 2010):

In Italy, the “Avatar” general admission rating prompted the Italian parents org Moige to complain that “the decision represents a discrimination against the protection of Italian children,” citing the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama saw the film with his kids, Malia, 11, and Sasha, 8, in accordance with its PG rating.

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