I see that AVATAR is now the most successful movie in history, passing TITANIC earlier this month (I won't use the obvious sinking metaphor.) Since this movie cost a half a billion dollars, movie economics dictates that it didn't start to earn a profit until it earned a billion dollars at the box office. It's just done this, but half that sum came from outside the USA. Why? Is it just due to the effects, or something more?
AVATAR has done spectacularly well in China and other Asian nations, so well that the Chinese yanked the 2D version from the theatres to prevent piracy.
Which leads me to suspect that AVATAR'S popularity is due to another subtext that appears in this movie. It's about the end of colonial empire, specifically an American colonial empire. There are some different races in this movie (Cameron makes sure to show some mixed-race troops cheering Colonel Quaritch's peptalk before the last great invasion.) It's an American corporation ordering the invasion in a cynicical partnership with the military and the scientists who were almost certainly sponsored by the military. A good portion of scientific research is now underwritten by military funding in the USA so this is no future fantasy.
I've seen a cartoon posted by Darryl Cagle showing Indian and Asian people holding hands with a ten foot high blue avatar figure. That is not coincidental.
But when I visited Zagreb many years ago a Serbian animator told me "We make fun of America in our (animated) films because we cannot make fun of our own governments."
Perhaps some of the approval for AVATAR comes from people in similar situations.
Which would make AVATAR one of the most subversive movies ever made, in that it questions the corporate culture that enabled the film to be produced in the first place.