News Corp. in early talks for 'Avatar' sequel

1:13 PM PST 02/02/2010 by Georg Szalai, AP

Rupert Murdoch said company is 'pushing' for followup pic

NEW YORK -- News Corp. is in very early talks with James Cameron about a possible "Avatar" sequel.

Asked about potential "Avatar" sequels, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said on his quarterly earnings call Tuesday that the conglomerate is in "very early talks about it." Director James Cameron "has ideas" for a sequel, he said, adding: "We will be pushing for one."

But he cautioned analysts not to "hold your breath for an early one" in a possible reference to Cameron projects often taking a long time to come to fruition.

News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO Chase Carey interjected that both sides want to make another movie. "We certainly both intend to have one," he said.

The executives said financing of a sequel like of any movies these days would be key as News Corp. likes to lay off risk, especially since Cameron films tend to go over budget. But given the success of "Avatar," financing details could come together.

Management also said 60% or more of the profit from "Avatar" will come in over the next two quarters, adding the firm will continue its theater run as the boxoffice goes well, with a DVD release also planned soon after the theatrical run. A DVD release date hasn't been announced so far.

Pushed further on details about the DVD plans for "Avatar," Murdoch said it will be released during his company's current fiscal year, which ends June 30. But he also highlighted that it won't be a 3D DVD release as that technology isn't developed enough yet. But Carey added there could be a 3D "Avatar" DVD release further "down the road" when the technology is ready.

[Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted Murdoch as saying to analysts not to "hold your breath for ANOTHER one." A review of his recorded comments reveal he said "early one."]
comments powered by Disqus