Change My Mind: Clearly Avatar is a Ripoff of Dances with Wolves
All of the buzz about the long-awaited "Avatar" sequel has got me thinking. Hollywood has been struggling for fresh ideas over the last few years. It seems that most of what is being made today is just regurgitated from movies that have already been made. Whether it is a sequel, like "John Wick 3" or a simple reboot of a classic franchise. It all may look different but has already been done years ago. Yet it will still rake in money. Just like the new sequel "Avatar: The Way of the Water."
According to Hollywood Reporter
The 20th Century/Disney release has earned $454 million domestically and crossed $1 billion internationally for a worldwide cume of $1.51 billion. It also is now the No. 10 top-grossing film of all time, and the second-best of the pandemic era behind Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s $1.916 billion. Paramount’s Top Gun 2 grossed a hefty $1.49 billion globally following its release in May 2022.
Exhibit A: The Plot of "Dances with Wolves" is almost exactly the same as the original "Avatar" movie.
- A wounded soldier gets sent to another land to broker a peace deal with the natives. (For DWW it was the Lakota, For Avatar it was the Na'Vi)
- The Army that the soldier belongs to aims to take the native land and sell its resources. ( DWW: mining land and bison hides, Avatar: mineral unobtanium)
- The soldier soon learns the customs of the native civilization and eventually falls in love with one of them. (DWW: "Stands with a Fist", Avatar: "Neytiri")
- The Army attacks the natives and the soldier chooses sides with the natives.
- The Army gets defeated and the soldier chooses to live permanently with the natives.
Need any more convincing? The stories are so similar, that someone made a movie trailer using DWW footage over Avatar audio.
I guess you can say that the major differences are that "Dances with Wolves" was a huge hit at the box office in 1990. But, it only made $424 million. Avatar made considerably more than that with $2.9 billion at the box office. Not too bad for a blatant ripoff.