It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

So I’ve made fun of the grandiose expectations for James Cameron’s Avatar, but he and Fox just make it so easy. Take for instance the free IMAX 3D previews they’re running next week; unwilling to just call the event ‘Free Preview,’ they’ve gone the holiday route and declared next Friday ‘Avatar Day.’ Are you supposed to start fasting at sundown the day before or something?

The 16 minutes of footage, apparently different from what was shown at Comic Con, will play twice on August 21st, with one show at 6 and one at 6:30. Tickets to the preview, which will play on 30 screens, will be given out on a first come, first served basis on Monday at noon Pacific. You’ll have to click through to the Avatar movie site to try your luck. Apparently portions of the James Horner score are streaming there, so that’s exciting for the soundtrack geeks.

I’m kind of dying to see the response. I imagine that some of the film’s climactic battle will be present in this footage; when the responses come in the important thing will be to cut through the noise of the haters and the fanboys and find the people in the middle who will actually deliver an honest opinion.

via the LA Times.