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Monday, September 26, 2022

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To Binge a Show, Or to Watch a Movie? That is the Question

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As you hunch over, eyes glued to the screen, the smell of butter-drenched popcorn and old furniture fills the room, you have one hand in the container and the other on a large drink. The sound from the speakers intensifies in the crowded theater and the lights on the ultra-wide 4k screen flash. You feel your stomach begin to rumble and bladder clench up. At this moment, you’re either sucked into the plot of the story or imagining when the final scene will be, waiting, counting down the minutes until the lights in the theater turn on and you’re able to decompress from sitting in the same position and finally head home. 

This scenario would be completely different if you just stayed home and watched one of the Netflix shows that was recommended to you by a coworker you desperately use to carry out conversations with. But you decided to go to the movies, a place so great you convince yourself to sit down for sometimes two hours without interruption. 

How long can you visually stimulate your mind and keep interested in a story? What makes you want to keep watching? Is it the plot? Is it the location where you watch it? Or is it the runtime of the show/movie? Or could it be that you just have to use the bathroom? 

Director James Cameron (Titanic, The Terminator) recently talked to Empire Magazine about the length of his long-awaited film Avatar: The Way of Water, the sequel to his 2009 blockbuster hit, Avatar

“I don’t want anybody whining about length when they sit and binge-watch [television] for eight hours,” Cameron told the magazine. “I can almost write this part of the review: ‘The agonizingly long three-hour movie…’ It’s like, give me a f—–g break. I’ve watched my kids sit and do five one-hour episodes in a row. Here’s the big social paradigm shift that has to happen: it’s okay to get up and go pee.” 

“Binge-watching” is a concept that is relatively new, yet has become a normal tradition in many homes. With streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney Plus and the rest, you’re more likely to fall into the pattern of sitting at home and watching a series fully through becoming immersed in every aspect of the story. 

But Cameron is right; if we can sit at home and binge-watch a 30-hour TV series, then why can’t we sit through a long movie or watch various movies that allow us to go to entirely different worlds. I mean, have you watched Avatar

Staying home is more relaxing and gives you more freedom to multitask while also allowing you to press “pause.” Is it more rewarding than experiencing what can be offered at a movie theater upon theatrical release? For me, there’s nothing quite like it. It’s not certain how long Cameron plans on making Avatar 2. As long as he keeps the audience intrigued, which he’s proven to time and time again, there shouldn’t be an issue. 

Avatar 2 is expected to release on December 16, 2022. See you there!