How did Avatar get to be the highest grossing movie? What made her so popular?
Avatar is actually not a good movie. As a story it is completely forgettable.
However, as a piece of cinema, it was innovative. In many ways, no one has matched her.
Forget the innovative use of CGI. Although “The Two Towers” used it in 2003, Cameron went all-in with CGI characters and paved the way for movies like “Planet of the Apes.”
No, what made it fantastic was the use of 3D effects. Avatar brought 3D back to theaters in a big way after others tried without success. It still has the best and most effective 3D effects of the last 12 years, and maybe all of history. Cameron is pretty much the only director who “got” 3D and how it could be used to create a new experience for viewers. Big blockbusters are now expected to be in 3D, but Avatar was at the forefront.
Finally, the use of color. The CGI gave Cameron full control over the colors he put on screen and he used it to the fullest. Damn, he took it to an extreme level!
So, it’s not a very good story, somewhat predictable, but what a beautiful play.