Smashing box office records, James Cameron's Avatar has become the second highest-grossing film ever earning $1.13 billion worldwide. Soaring past Disney's Pirate's of the Caribbean, Avatar may end up being the biggest grossing film ever, counting global sales and unadjusted for inflation. With such eye-popping success, it's clear Avatar will shake up Hollywood in a big way. But how? Entertainment reporters and Hollywood insiders point to a new era of special effects and global marketing:

  • Blurs the Line Between Animation and Live Action, says established Hollywood director Jon Favreau: "It is a game-changer from a production standpoint certainly in the way he's using motion capture and operating a camera within a volume... the line between animation and live action is blurring in many ways." Favreau told an interviewer he will mimic Cameron's use of motion capture and CGI in his upcoming action film Iron Man 2.
  • Sets the Gold Standard for 3-D Cinema, observes Maria Puente at USA Today. She cites the chairman of IMAX films who says more and better use of digital 3-D technology is on its way following Avatar's success: "With the technology hugely improved, producing better sound, crystal-clear images and more immersive experiences... top directors can transform the industry by moving the studios toward 3-D"
  • Demonstrates the Power of Foreign Markets, writes Sarah Ball at Newsweek: "Avatar opened in 106 markets globally and was No. 1 in all of them. Markets such as Russia, where Titanic saw modest receipts in 1997 and 1998, are white-hot today, analysts say, with more screens and moviegoers than ever before. Avatar stands poised to reap the benefits, and it has already dotted the globe with box-office records."
  • Will Be the Next Star Wars, writes Ben Child at The Guardian: "This is going to be a film that kids and adults alike will remember 2009 (and 2010) by, and there aren't too many movies that you can say that about. For me, it's a feature that - like the original Star Wars trilogy, ET and Indiana Jones before it - causes the viewer to unfurrow his or her brow and wrap themselves up in sheer cinematic indulgence."