Producers Guild Picks "Hurt Locker" as Best Film, Snubbing Avatar and Throwing Oscar Race Into Confusion

When Avatar picked up Best Picture and Best Director at the Golden Globes, it seemed likely that the march to coronate Avatar as Best Picture was one — but last night the Producers Guild gave its top honor to Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” and this, plus the Screen Actor’s Guild also ignoring Avatar (not a surprise) leaves the Oscar race for Best Picture in a state of confusion.

Edgar Rice Burroughs on the "Tarzan Theme"

Avatar has re-energized my affection and appreciation for the great adventure novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars and according to James Cameron a principal source of inspiration for Avatar. One thing that Burroughs and Cameron have in common, I think, is a unique and perhaps intuitive ability to grasp the mythic structures that cause their stories to resonate astonishingly across disparate cultures.

Box Office Prediction: James Cameron's Avatar Will Exceed Expectations (Again) and Pull $53M This Weekend

the predictions in the mid forties are all to some degree premised on the expectation that this weekend, with the holidays finally over, Avatar will finally take the 40% drop that these same predictors were looking for each of the last two weekends. In each case Avatar surprised them, so I’m wondering just a bit why they are so timid at this point given the data that’s available. Avatar has held strong during the week; it is tracking much more like Titanic than ‘normal’ pictures, and Titanic only dropped 16% on it’s fourth weekend, pulling in $28M. Avatar did 68.3m last weekend and a 16% drop would mean $57.4m. I’m projecting $53m, which is a 23% drop.