A report on MarketSaw supposedly confirmed by Fox says that the final running time for James Cameron’s Avatar is 161 minutes. Which, if my math is correct, is approximately two hours and eighty-six minutes. On this issue, I’m a little torn like your mom after a day’s work. These days it seems like the trend is toward over-long movies. One of the things I liked about Bruno was that they cut it to 82 minutes. Inglourious Basterds was great, but about 15 minutes too long. Ditto Funny People. Even The Hurt Locker would’ve been just a tiny bit better if they’d ended it on the shot of Jeremy Renner in the cereal aisle. Therefore, even though I’m not in the Avatar-is-going-to-suck camp just yet, the prospect of three hours of cat people doesn’t exactly thrill me like Icy Hot on the scrotum.
The counter point is of course Braveheart, which was awesome even at two hours and fifty-nine minutes. Therefore, I would argue that a good rule of thumb when you’re making a movie is to keep it under two hours. Unless the movie’s about men in skirts, in which case the rule goes out the window, and the thumb goes in my ass.