The critical reception enjoyed by James Cameron’s Avatar bought a sigh of relief to Twentieth Century Fox and as embargoes disappeared over the world the early buzz and reviews have ensured Avatar is on its way to becoming a box office hit.

Variety have put a figure on Avatar’s first day at the cinemas in the US and its one of the biggest openings this year – million. 

Variety put this into context and reminds us that Avatar trails I Am Legend and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the December opening day stakes, but what does this really mean?

Firstly it means that the buzz generated by the early reviews broke through the internet frontier and into the public domain resulting in Cameron’s film enjoying a furious and positive word of mouth campaign which was reflected in the box office dollars. The strong opening also means that Avatar should be well on its way to recouping its enormous budget and adds weight to the recently touted notion of two further journeys to Pandora.

I’ve still to see the film but from what I’ve heard this is a return to the finest form James Cameron is capable of, and it may be that the 3D angle is persuading more people to visit the cinemas rather than wait for a DVD or Blu-ray version. 

Whatever happens over Christmas and beyond it seems the forecasters of box office apocalypse were mistaken, and Avatar is clearly on its way to being a commercial as well as critical success.