Thursday, 7 January 2010

Mail doesn't know its Avatar from its elbow

Like every other media outlet, the Daily Mail wrote several articles about James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar in the weeks before its release last month.

On 4 December, Alison Boshoff's preview carried the headline Avatar cost £300m to make... but is 'Dancing With Smurfs' going to be the most expensive flop ever?

She wrote:

Some believe a movie about an alien culture of giant blue humanoids can never make a profit


Someone, rather unkindly, has dubbed this long, po-faced epic Dances With Smurfs

although as she hadn't seen it at that point, she couldn't really call it 'po-faced'.

Two days later, with enviable consistency, Rob Waugh's puff piece on the film asked Is James Cameron's $500m 3D blockbuster Avatar set to revolutionise cinema?

So the Mail was shamelessly hedging its bets - it was either the 'most expensive flop ever' or 'set to revolutionise cinema'.

Five days after that, another Mail hack was on the case. Nicole Lampert's article had the headline Has James Cameron, Hollywood's scariest man, blown £200 million on the biggest movie flop ever?

Ah. Back to that. So the Mail was backing it to fail, although it was now a £200m flop rather than a £300m one.

Avatar was released on 17 December. And how accurate were the Mail's claims it was going to be a box-office disaster?

As the Mail itself reported three days ago:

Avatar takes $1bn to become the fourth biggest movie of all time... in less than three weeks.



  1. This doesn't surprise me in the least.

    Almost all the news media did the same thing when Casino Royale was about to be released. All the tabs gave far too much attention to the anti-Daniel Craig lobby, and then when the film came out they all said how great he was.

  2. Like any re-make, it wasn't as good as the original (fern gully)

  3. Difficult for the Mail really. Once one of their hacks understands the film they might discover that they're not really in sympathy with its message. Then where do they go?!

  4. In fairness, no newspaper is ever going to have a fixed editorial agenda on something like a film, or an album, or any piece of art. They'll just have lots of different commentators giving different, and often conflicting, opinions. For once, I don't think you can accuse the Mail of hypocrisy or inconsistency.

  5. I like the idea that the 'dances with smurfs' quote comes from the episode 13 of season 13 of South Park first shown on the 14th of September.


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