I don't know how many moons orbit Cameron's fantasy planet Pandora, but I'm just going to assume they're currently all heading for alignment. Screen Daily tells us that Avatar's two-months away release in China has caused no less than four of its own would-be blockbusters to hide from the giant shadow the blue cat-people will inevitably cast when they debut there January 1st. Zhang Yimou's remake of the Coen Brother's 1984 directorial debut Blood Simple has now decided to bow closer towards the beginning of December. Same goes for the road movie Wu Ren Qu, The Pang brother's fantasy/action sequel The Storm Warriors, and the sci-fi western Treasure Hunter (starring Jay Chou, who America will soon know as Kato in The Green Hornet).
Now I understand that few people who read Cinematical are going to be affected by the release date shift of those four films, but what makes this news worth paying attention to is the fact that these changes slot Avatar into a position in which it could conceivably earn its budget back from Chinese cinemas alone. The biggest time of the year for the Chinese box office is the three month window that covers Christmas, New Year, and the Chinese Lunar New Year and now that these four domestic films have made way for an international usurper, it means Avatar will be taking over a whopping 80% of China's screens during its most crucial box office season.
Oddly enough, Fox has still not finalized Avatar's screening permit in China, but no one is expecting it'll get denied. A general manager for China's New Film Association tells SD, "It is the first time in five years that such a heavyweight Hollywood film released in the year-end season. Its box office impact will be huge." Considering every other film during its run will be vying for the 20% of negative space Avatar won't be occupying in all of its 2D, 3D, and IMAX formats, I'd say huge is a conservative estimate.