James Cameron Thinks You Miss This When You Watch 'Avatar' At Home

'Avatar: The Way of Water'Credit: 20th Century Studios
Go see Avatar: The Way of Water on the big screen. 

It seems obvious to say, but the ultimate way to see an Avatar movie is in the theater. The expansive screen and sound system are obviously better. But there are other things you might miss if you wait to watch it at home. 

James Cameron recently sat down with NPR to talk about why the theatrical experience matters not only for his movies but for cinema. 

Of course, Cameron wouldn't be in this place if he didn't already own two of the top three highest-grossing films of all time. and now, Avatar: The Way of Water is taking the world by storm. 

When it comes to making an excellent sequel, Cameron says, "The audience wants some degree of familiarity. They want to be grounded in that which they liked from the first film. And some sequels change too much. The trick is to find ways to make it pleasantly surprising, unexpected. You know, I feel like I was able to do that with a completely unexpected direction."

Cameron explained further: "Audiences need to feel like they're being taken on a new journey. The trick is to find ways to make it pleasantly surprising."

Well, Avatar 2 is about to cross two billion at the box office. So it's safe to say audiences are all in on the movie. 

But what about the theatrical experience?

Cameron elaborated on why he wants you to see this on the big screen:

"If you watch Way of Water at home on a reasonably large flat-screen TV with a decent sound system and you sit close enough and that way across the room, you're going to have a good experience. I think when you start looking at something on a phone, you're sort of missing the point. Going to a movie theater is less about the size of the screen and the perfection of the sound system. And it's more about a decision to not multitask. I think that's the critical part that people are missing. You're making a deal between yourself and a piece of art to give it your full attention. And you don't when you're at home. People don't cry as much when they watch a movie at home as they will in a movie theater. You don't have the depth of emotion."

Attention spans are different when it comes to the big screen. You don't look at your phone. You let a world envelop you. This kind of experience is hard to replicate at home. There are distractions no matter what. Even if you turn your phone off, so the ambient noise and sights let your mind wander. 

What do you think about Cameron's words? 

Let us know in the comments.      

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2 Comments

Cameron is one of the few directors with 'common sense.'
Good movies are made to engross you, It's just not the same if you're watching a film at home. Why do you suppose theaters make you turn off your phones? Simple...like James said...So all of us can enjoy the experience without distractions.

January 23, 2023 at 8:56AM

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Lee Albright
Owner-Albright Films
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He is spot on .... and if you can't get to the theater..especially you are Netflix-ing ... watch at night and put your phone away ... dark, less distractions, kids in bed, quiet-er! ... it's a much better experience. IMHO

January 23, 2023 at 9:14AM

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