‘Avatar 2’ seats selling fast in Vietnam

By Nhat Dat, Khang Thai   December 18, 2022 | 05:39 pm PT
‘Avatar 2’ seats selling fast in Vietnam
Moviegoers watch "Avatar 2" in 3D at a cinema in HCMC on December 16, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Khang Thai
Tickets for the blockbuster 'Avatar 2' were nearly sold out in Ho Chi Minh City cinemas this weekend, with fans of the franchise not shying away from late-night screenings.

HCMC cinemas were swamped on Friday for the highly anticipated local premiere of "Avatar 2," the long-awaited sequel to the blockbuster Avatar, renowned Hollywood director James Cameran’s lauded magnum opus and runaway smash-hit of 13 years ago.

According to a spokesperson for Galaxy Links, the film's Vietnam distributor, major cinemas were at 70% occupancy for the film this weekend.

Avatar’s box office numbers beat records held by previously released hit foreign films in Vietnam, such as "Avengers: Endgame" (2019) and "Doctor Strange 2" (2022).

The movie earned nearly VND30 billion ($1.27 million) on its first day – the highest of any film in the country this year.

"Avatar 2" played on more screens in Vietnam this weekend than any other film.

At Thao Dien BHD Cinema in HCMC’s District 2, the film played more than 20 times per day, way more than the cartoon hit also released recently "Big Trip 2: Special Delivery."

At Lotte Cinema Nguyen Huu Tho in District 4, the two films "Hanh Phuc Mau" ("Bloody Happiness") and "Jailangkung" were slotted for only 2 screens, leaving all other screen-times open for "Avatar 2."

Even though they tried to book seats for Avatar 2 early, several moviegoers said it was difficult to find tickets. Thuy Uyen, 23, made a reservation a day in advance. She said the theater’s seating chart was already packed, with only a few less-sought-after seats left.

Thuy Nga, 22, who was accompanied by a close friend, stated that she preferred to watch the 2D show since it was easier to purchase seats than for 3D screenings. She was also concerned about feeling uneasy if she wore 3D glasses for longer than three hours.

In Hanoi, Avatar 2’s first shows were also quickly booked.

On the evening of Dec.16, about 450 guests watched Avatar 2 at the Lieu Giai Street Cinema’s IMAX theater 7 p.m.

Many Avatar fans had to unfortunately sit in the front row in order to get tickets on opening weekend. Other rows were already full no matter how far in advance some fans tried to book.

People enjoyed evening screenings of the film in both 2D and 3D at a cinema on Nguyen Chi Thanh Str.

Most theatergoers booked tickets online in advance, so there wasn’t much congestion at the box office.

In July, movie fan Duy Manh, 22, had already made plans to watch the film with his friends when it opened.

"For me, the story content of Avatar is not what’s attractive," he said. "However, 3D technology and the majestic natural images are what captivates the audience. When I saw the second part in theaters, I did not expect much from the script, I just hoped I could see many beautiful visual segments."

Avatar 2 is said to be James Cameron's "billion-dollar bet." He once said that the project needed to be one of the top three or four grossing films of all time in order to break even, which means it has to surpass the revenue mark of about $2 billion to start turning a profit. The film is currently selling well in many parts of the world.

In China, pre-booked ticket sales surpassed 100 million yuan ($14.3 million after three days of opening), making it the fastest film to surpass 100 million yuan (via pre-booked tickets) this year. In Vietnam, after 48 hours of presales, the film had sold 70% of all tickets in key theaters for opening weekend.

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