I think what frustrates me the most is that everything has to be a culture war nowadays.
"I liked the new Avatar, therefore I have to shit on Marvel and Star Wars"
Why? Why can't you like all? why can't you be happy for these movies? I don't even care if you LIKE them or not, I just don't know why everything has to be some sort of direct, aggressive competition. I don't see why Avatar doing well means that it's cool to finally get out the 'marvel sucks and theyr'e dying' guns. I especially hate how reductive people are in trying to downplay successes of movies or WHY they made the money they made.
Avatar is a very simple story told very well. It hit every demographic. IT looked pretty, it sounded pretty, it created an absolutely beautiful new world that people wanted to be a part of and gave us tonnes of lore to think about. Plus it was a movie with a message, a villain you love to hate, and engaging characters. It hit you in the feels, it had hints of romance, some of the best action seen up to that point, and it was all made in a truly wonderful package. I get that 'unobtanium' and 'it's dances with smurfycats' are reasons for snobs to dislike it but the reality is that it resonated with a massive audience. It was a true cinematic EVENT.
Avengers Endgame and Infinity War was the culmination of 20 interwoven stories taking place across space and time, effectively (if not accurately) representing the comic book superhero medium with style, panache, action, and dozens upon dozens of characters and plots all culminating in a single place. Again, it hit a bunch of demographics, it was a true cinematic EVENT, and it was well-liked by critics and fans alike.
Star Wars is one of the biggest and most important movie franchises of all time. and while the plot was very similar to A New Hope, it showed that Star Wars was Star Wars again, not whatever the prequels were (I personally liked the prequels but I'm in the minority there.) A simple story told well.
Titanic was based on true events that once again brought together some of the most grandiose of visual spectacle with some teen drama, meaning it was pulling from a bunch of different directions and hitting a bunch of buttons around the world, appealing to every demographic in some way or another.
Jurassic world was the realization of the park envisioned by Jurassic Park. The Lion King was a pretty remake of probably the most beloved animated film ever, which in turn was just Hamlet on the Savannah.
If you look at the highest grossing films of all time, one recurring theme is that almost everything is 'a very simple story told very well'. Be it a remake, a sequel, loosely or directly based on true events, or an adaptation of prior work (Be it comics, plays, or animated movies you loved as a kid). The most complicated story of all of these was Infinity War/Endgame, everything else was simple. a new hope over again. Dances with wolves in space. a remake of the movie that was hamlet with lions. Based on an actual disaster. And the others were sequels, remakes, or based on comics. There's a reason for every one of these movies to have done well, and I'm just sick of people feeling the need to shit on one because another's doing well or pretend any of them don't deserve it or being a pseudo-hipster and hating on the popular thing.
Sorry, it's just foolish as all hell to continually feel the need to turn this into tribalism.
Hate the popular thing all you want. Even if you don't like it, there's a reason it's popular. Not always a good reason, but there's always a reason.
Something you like making money doesn't mean that the thing you like won't get made. Or maybe it will? If that's the case, the solution is to support the things you love. Go to the theater. buy that overpriced popcorn. hire a babysitter. You know what movies get people munching that popcorn and taking the family out? Huge spectacle driven movies that are easy to digest and enjoy, or sequels to movies people love, or something unique, or maybe an adaptation.
the 'popular thing' doesn't suck just because it made more money than you think it deserves. the popular thing is popular for a reason. It's just that simple. Cameron understands this. That's why, by the end of Avatar's run, he might be responsible for the #1, #3, and #4 highest grossing films of all time. Dude knows how to tell a simple story very well, while putting a tonne of care into the spectacle and visuals and emotions. Dude knows how to hit it big, to give people a reason to go to the cinema, and how to make you care with the most basic elements presented by the hand of a master.