20 Comments
Jan 27·edited Jan 27

This, and earlier commentary on the surprisingly low amount of viral content originating on tumblr, makes us vastly overestimate the importance of the current generation of fanfic fan culture. It’s a closed-ish loop.

Fanfic fandom only gets noticed when internal community messiness becomes entertaining or when the original content creators get prodded into validating some lore or a ship. But it generates a lot of noise, so people who try hard to tap into culture discourse overestimate its importance in the short and long term. It doesn’t sell movie tickets, it doesn’t sell merch, and Cameron is probably relieved he can just pocket his haul without being bothered with endless culture war among a few thousand superfans.

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This was interesting, but damn I miss Allegra

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I almost think of it as like Yellowstone or Criminal Minds, massively dominant in ways that just don't show up on the internet.

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Jan 29·edited Jan 30

It's just less fandom-oriented than many modern mega-blockbusters, which make its "cultural impact" less transparent and could somewhat lead us astray as to predictions of future earings (you'd think Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were Tom Cruise if you were only judging based on AO3 fanfics and Tumblr activity). Also, for what it's worth, Avatar does actually have an unique very active fandom; particularly, it's focused on the language the Na'vi speak, and among fictional languages (small pond, but still) it might be the most popular, right along with the likes of Klingon. One of these groups appeared in an appropriately-for-Avatar sincere episode of How To with John Wilson on HBO Max.

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Also the experience of watching avatar was like biting into a big embarrassing word-cloud burger called American Macho: a Collection of Old JRPG Videogame Cut-scenes (including all the top hits: a sexualized prepubescent girl, racism, and incoherent daddy issues).

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I wouldn't say fanfiction (or tumblr) is a good way to measure cultural impact. Fanfiction are generated usually in response to the desire to "fix" stories that leave something undone/implied. Fans then want to correct it and get their vision of it validated. Cue why Spiderverse or Promare or Inception - really well done movies from storytelling and visual perspective - have rather very little fanfiction but lots of gifs and fans, while shows like Supernatural or Star wars (imperfect and open up to interpretation in many instances) have giant fanfiction amounts - so much stuff left unsaid and unspecified, people hurl themselves at it in fandom spaces. Tumblr is also way more active when there is something relevant to their trending themes, something being problematic or having to do with social justice agendas.

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God, I haven’t heard about the niche fandom that was ROTBTD for years.

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Data from Rule 34 will give another dimension

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absolutely fascinating

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The fact that the film grossed so much tells me people want to watch it, rewatch it, bring their family and friends to watch it again. I haven't seen the second one yet, but I remember going to see it with my belated grandmother in 3D. It was the most spectacular experience for us both when 3D wasn't as popular and annoying yet. And that feeling and memory stuck with me till today.

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This was good stuff! I really liked the depth and definitely felt the distance between mediums of film versus internet culture. Adam did a good job as it's a hard ask to have to fill on for @ryanpornstar

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You have too much fucking free time.

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