'Avatar' trailer tickets to be given online

16-minute sneak peek to play in Imax theaters Aug. 21

Free tickets will be distributed online starting Monday for special Imax presentations of a 16-minute trailer for Fox's upcoming 3D sci-fi actioner "Avatar."

The extended trailer, featuring an on-camera intro by director James Cameron, hits 101 Imax venues in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 21 in a promo push announced at the recent Comic-Con International confab in San Diego. On the same date, theaters worldwide will begin showing more conventional 2D and 3D "Avatar" trailers.

Fans will be provided theater information and other "Avatar" tidbits via AvatarMovie.com. Visitors to the site also will see ticketing instructions and links to individual movie theaters.

"It will be two tickets to a customer to keep people from hoarding," Fox distribution boss Bruce Snyder said Wednesday. "We expect a tremendous amount of interest from the fans who are aware of 'Avatar.' "

The extended "Avatar" trailer will play just before and after separately ticketed performances for Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." At most of the specialty venues, the trailer will be shown between 6-7 p.m., running twice within the hour span.

"I think it's going to be a bit of a stampede," Imax Filmed Entertainment chief Greg Foster said. "But I can't wait for everyone to see the footage."

The extended trailer will contain much of the "Avatar" footage shown at screenings this summer at exhibitor events in Hollywood and Amsterdam, and also at Comic-Con. But at least one unspecified new scene will be included.

Part of the footage shows Sam Worthington's Avatar character adapting to a strange new environment in the fantastical world of Pandora, and a battle scene figures in a closing montage. There also is an extended clip involving a forest attack by wolf-like creatures.

The other "Avatar" trailer will continue to play in coming weeks before feature presentations of Fox Searchlight's comedy "Post Grad," the Weinstein Co.'s Brad Pitt starrer "Inglourious Basterds" and other late summer and fall releases.

"Avatar," Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's "Titanic," unspools worldwide Dec. 18.