Will 'Avatar' Win Big at Golden Globes?

PHOTO Camerons blockbuster epic ?Avatar? wasnt even on critics lists a month ago when ?Up in the Air? was considered the awards favorite. All thats changed, since ?Avatar? began shattering box office records, earning $1.3 billion worldwide so far.

Don't underestimate James Cameron.

That seems to be the feeling going into the Golden Globe Awards, which airs live Sunday night on NBC.

Cameron's blockbuster epic "Avatar" will be on a lot of people's minds, but so will the devastation in Haiti caused by Tuesday's massive earthquake.

Hollywood is doing its part with today's event, "Golden Globes Making Our Globe Golden," at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. For every celebrity that shows up, Platinum Publicity will make a donation toward relief efforts. The group is also auctioning off $6,000 gift bags and T-shirts signed by celebrities on eBay, with proceeds going to help Haiti.

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On Thursday, actresses CCH Pounder, one of the stars of "Avatar," and Lorraine Toussaint of TV's "Any Day Now," signed T-shirts. Toussaint, who is from the Caribbean, told ABC News she was able to locate some of her relatives in Haiti.

The Globes may be more subdued in the wake of Haiti's devastating earthquake, but it's still expected to be a big night for "Avatar." The film wasn't even on critics' lists a month ago when "Up in the Air" was considered the early awards favorite.

All that's changed, since "Avatar" began shattering box office records, earning $1.3 billion worldwide so far.

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"It's become clear that 'Avatar' is the front-runner," Matthew Belloni, the Hollywood Reporter's managing editor for features, told ABCNews.com. "All of the critics have started loving 'Avatar,' the reviews have been so positive and it's started getting all these nominations for guild awards."

Last week, the Directors Guild of America nominated Cameron, and, more surprisingly, he received a best screenplay nod from the Writers Guild this week.

"I think most people would agree the writing in that movie is not its strongest suit," said Belloni.

Regardless, "Avatar" has the momentum going into the Globes and that could mean big wins at the Academy Awards in March. The Academy announces its nominations Feb. 2, leaving a week of voting after the influential Globes.

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While the technical branches make up a large portion of the Academy and are more likely to support Cameron's film, the Globe voters, made up of 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are not so technically inclined.

Belloni said it's possible "Up in the Air" or "The Hurt Locker," another critical favorite, could win the Globe award for best picture, drama, for that reason.

"It's a great race, unlike last year when 'Slumdog Millionaire' won; there's not a foregone winner," Belloni said. "This year, there really is no one film that everyone is rallying around."

Whatever happens, the Globes are likely to have a greater influence on Academy voters in the new extended best picture category. With 10 nominees, double the number last year, Belloni said the winner of the Globes best picture, comedy or musical category will most definitely be a front-runner for the best picture race.

Below are Belloni's picks for the winners of the 67th Annual Golden Globes Awards:

Best Picture, Comedy or Musical

"'Nine' is losing momentum," Belloni said. "Don't count out 'Julie and Julia.' People really like that. I could see 'The Hangover' winning. It's very funny, did amazing business. I think as a straight comedy, 'Hangover' is probably the favorite."

Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama

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