Are you guys thinking what I am thinking?
dragonking555 wrote:there might be the fact that the producers knew the film was going south and attempted to salvage it and maximize audience by decreasing runtime. Personally, I think that is the real reason so much got cut out.
RockinDMG wrote:The bottom line is that Paramount must have known the movie's critical reception would be poor.
Assuming that the novelisation is based on test-screened version (see HERE
), I estimate about 20-30 minutes were cut out, which is consistent with what M.Night said in NYMAG interview
, "I'm dying to make a two-hour movie, I just haven’t earned it yet
". So what could possess him to gut his own movie? Comparing the final cut with the novelisation, he obviously was out for blood.
However, I think this half-baked theory of mine is not so half-baked after all: The Last Airbender was cut to maximize time slots for 3D screens
. It was first suggested on IMDB but it didn't make sense to me, until I noticed that there are limited number 3D screens around the world, compared to 2D. Paramount and other movie distributors are literally fighting over 3D screens, and trying to maximize the number of time slots on 3D screens that they have "locked". It would explain why the release dates for 3D movies are so spread out compared to 2D movies. The following are the running time for 3D movies going back for two years that are 95 minutes or higher:
RunTime - Title
95 - Despicable Me
96 - Up
96 - A Christmas Carol (2009)
96 - Megamind
97 - Step Up 3-D
98 - How to Train Your Dragon
100 - Coraline
100 - Resident Evil: Afterlife
100 - Harry Potter 7 : Part 2 (*)
101 - My Bloody Valentine 3-D
103 - Toy Story 3
103 - The Last Airbender
106 - Clash of the Titans (2010)
107 - My Soul to Take
109 - Alice in Wonderland (2010)
111 - Michael Jackson's This Is It
115 - The Chronicles of Narnia 3
127 - Tron : Legacy
160 - Avatar
170 - Avatar (Extended)
Harry Potter 7 - part 1 was advertised to be in 3D but WB waited a few days after the PG13 rating was confirmed
before announcing 2D-only release due to insufficient time
to "to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality
" - which I think is BS. I think the producers argued in the last minute for a 2.5 hour release instead of less than two hours. Harry Potter 7 - part 2 is already known to be somewhere around 1.5 hours: According to Warner Bros
. executive Alan F. Horn it will allow "an extra hour and a half to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas in the amazing story.
Accordingly, Narnia 3 is less than two hours because it will be in 3D, unlike its previous movies.
TRON, is pushing for 2+ hours but at a cost - preliminary show times indicate 2.75 and 3 hour break between viewings. Disney probably thought they could get way with it because it is a Christmas release - not much 3D shows to compete with in Jan-Mar timeframe.
But what of James Cameron's Avatar? Don't forget - rules don't apply to him. It's good to be the King (of the World).
If the theory holds, I think Paramount must have thought the test-screening for The Last AIrbender was really good... good enough to warrant a 3D release and to allocate it with the 3D screens they have locked. Unfortunately, M.Night finished the movie ahead of schedule so it gave Paramount the time to muck with it. The key problems were TLA was never shot in 3D AND it was 2 hours long.
Paramount had the profit motive, but M.Night did AGREE to do it
back in April 22, 2010
; he reshot a few scenes and shot additional scenes to make it work (like the final Azula scene). However, the printing of novelization was already underway. In May, Frank Marshall twitted
the approximate running to be around 100 minutes - they already knew what 3D running time constraints were going to be. Moreover, the Kyoshi warriors may have been cut not because they stole the show, but rather M.Night wanted to SAVE them: to include them would mean watering down their scenes (i.e. reducing their screen-time would not do them justice) and cut into other scenes in the movie.
If so, it would explain why M.Night was so defensive about the 3D conversion. He even went as far as promoting 3D technology which seems BIZARRE to me.
The man is a TECHNOPHOBE. He still uses his computer as a typewriter. He probably still thinks Twitting is a sound birds make when they are happy. Although, I don't think he butchered his own movie JUST for the sake of 3D: it is possible that when he agreed to do 3D, his 3-movie contract was amended to 4-movies, as suggested in the epilogue (a newly added scene) when Ozai stated that the Sozin's Comet will arrive in three years time. Frank Marshall stated in the LOVEFILM.com interview
that the movie covered the first year. Assuming one year for each movie, there may be three more movies, instead of just two more.
Is it really worth having a shorter running time for the sake of 3D? Will a fourth 100-minute movie make up for this?