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The Story of the Biggest “Goof” in ‘Bathroom Reader’ History

March 2, 2018

Ever wanted to be “privy” to what goes on behind closed doors at the Bathroom Readers’ Institute? Well, here’s a story about how we printed one of our biggest ever goofs.
Avatar

It wasn’t an error when it started.

When we make a Bathroom Reader, we research our work very carefully to ensure that it’s true. If, for some reason we get something wrong, we fix it the next time we reprint the book. That said, an article called “Not Coming to a Theater Near You” came back clean and certified correct from our fact-checker, and it ran on page 435 of Uncle John’s Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader. 

“Not Coming to a Theater Near You”

“Not Coming to a Theater Near You” was about big blockbuster movies that had been announced but which, for a variety of reasons, never got made. Leading off the article was the story of an unmade film called Avatar. Avatar never entered production because writer/director James Cameron wanted to make a completely computer generated film, and to make the film look realistic, it would’ve cost nearly half a billion dollars to make. Here’s the thing: Avatar very much got made. It didn’t get made in 1999, as the article stated, but it was released in 2009…where it went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time.
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

How could we not know about the most popular movie of all time?

You wouldn’t believe how many letters we’ve received about this so-called gaffe. How could we not know about the most popular movie of all time? Simple. The article appeared in a book, Slightly Irregular, that was first published in 2004. At the time of publication, Avatar was a dead project. In the five years after that piece ran, special effects technology got better (and cheaper), and James Cameron finally got to make his passion project.

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