James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ budget is estimated close to $500 million

Can a movie studio make money on a film based on an original and unfamiliar story, with no Hollywood superstars, a vanishing DVD market and a price tag approaching $500 million?

An audience wearing 3-D glasses at the screening of the 15-minute trailer for "Avatar", the James Cameron 3-D movie in New York.

That question looms large for 20th Century Fox and its 3-D science-fiction film “Avatar,” among the most expensive movies ever. Despite many skeptics, the studio thinks it can turn a profit, in part because the film’s creator, James Cameron, was the driving force behind the studio’s immense hit “Titanic.”

But just in case box-office receipts for “Avatar” fall short, Fox has worked hard to hedge its large bet on the movie.

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Film Business, Hollywood


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