‘Avatar’ will hit Blu-ray and DVD on Earth Day, April 22

March 16, 2010 | 1:13 a.m.
Avatar faces

 

 “Avatar” may be the ultimate big-screen experience, but how will it fit into the living rooms of America?

That’s the challenge presented to Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, which on Tuesday will announce some unconventional plans for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the highest-grossing film in the history of Hollywood box office.

“Avatar” will hit stores on April 22, and instead of a disc loaded with extras, it will be just the opposite –  a lean-and-mean approach with only the movie and a relatively simple menu function, a move made to exploit every bit of disc space for the top-of-the-line audio and video presentation of the film, according to the movie’s producer, Jon Landau.

In fact, according to sources at Fox, “Avatar” will make history as the first Blu-ray new release from a major studio to hit stores without a single trailer or promotional content of any kind.

“We went to Fox and told them that, for this movie, we wanted to do something really special and reach for the best presentation of any film in the history of the format,” Landau said. “This is a movie that has done the unexpected every step of the way. Fox agreed with us and the result is amazing. Everything that is put on a disc takes up room — the menus, the extras, the trailers and studio promotions — and we got rid of all of that so we could give this movie the best picture and sound possible.”

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In another unusual wrinkle, “Avatar” will reach shelves on a Thursday as opposed to the traditional Tuesday release day, so it can coincide with Earth Day. Fox is poised to announce a special environmental campaign that will key off of that date and the film’s themes of ecological harmony. Landau and writer-director James Cameron will attend an March 23 press event in West Hollywood where they will discuss the release, the environmental tie-in and plans for a multi-disc “ultimate version” that will follow in November. 

One thing the home-video release won’t be is 3-D. Just as Cameron took years to make “Avatar” while waiting for the technology that lived up to his visual aspiration, the filmmaker is holding back the 3-D-in-the-home version until the nascent marketplace catches up. Reports that the 3-D version will be released later this year are wrong, according to Fox sources.

Avatar bluray

Nonetheless, Landau said anyone who watches the 2-D home-video version of the film — especially the Blu-ray edition — will be “blown away” by the clarity, color and depth of the image. Typically, the compression sessions that take a theatrical release into the Blu-ray version last two weeks, but for this project the labor stretched out to six weeks.

Consumers will not be getting that hard work for cheap; “Avatar” arrives at retail with premium pricing. For the Earth Day release, the single-disc version of “Avatar” will have a suggested retail price of $29.98 on DVD and $39.99 on Blu-ray. A source at Fox said the “shelf” prices at many retailers will be closer to $19.99 for the DVD and $29.99 for the Blu-ray.

Fox is hoping “Avatar” will make home-video history, rivaling the fastest-selling title ever, “The Dark Knight,” which sold 3 million copies its first day in stores in December 2008 (600,000 of those on Blu-ray). CinemaScore, which has been doing consumer research with the Blu-ray format since October 2008, reports that “purchase intent” among consumers is higher for “Avatar” than any previous title. Also, Fox research suggests that a significant percentage of surveyed moviegoers said they plan to use the arrival of “Avatar” as an impetus to switch to the Blu-ray format.

“Avatar” opened in theaters on Dec. 18 and has grossed $2.6 billion worldwide. Landau said he believes the film will continue to do well at theaters and find a different sort of success on home video. He dismissed the suggestion that the 3-D epic will be cramped in the far smaller 2-D home-theater setting.

“There are details that you can see on the Blu-ray that are just amazing,” Landau said. “And the reason the movie has done so well isn’t because of the 3-D, it’s because of the story and the messages and the imagination. The way I view the Blu-ray is a chance for people to go back to Pandora.”

– Geoff Boucher

“Avatar” images from Fox

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Comments


21 Responses to ‘Avatar’ will hit Blu-ray and DVD on Earth Day, April 22

  1. MikeVee says:

    I've only seen Avatar once – on Imax 3D – and that big experience was a factor with my enjoyment of the film. It should look great at home if your TV is bigger than 50 inches. I'll probably buy the DVD since my son and daughter have each seen Avatar 3 times! My daughter wants to see it on the big screen again.

    • δημητρης μερτζοςς says:

      σοστα ηταν μια απο τις καλιτερες ταινιες του ΤΣΑΙΜΣ ηταν φανταστικη θελω να την δω ξανα στο 3d bly ray στο σπιτι . οταν την ειχα δει στον κηνηματογραφο ξετρελαθικα και χιροκροτησα στο τελος

  2. D.Z. says:

    Yes, because promoting the idea of a bigger land-fill of working, but "outdated", electronic equipment is truly in keeping with the theme of saving the planet…

  3. Pete says:

    Great marketing ploy by Fox to then release a separate special features Blu-ray! why is it so hard to release it as a 2 disc version..dooh!!

  4. avatarrr says:

    YES! I AM SO EXCITED!!! This is such a perfect day for it to be released–and SO SOON!
    at first I was really sad that they wouldn't have all the bonus features and things, but if they're waiting for November, I bet it means that they're taking their time with it :)
    ONLY A LITTLE OVER A MONTH LEFT!

  5. Kevin says:

    I woll not buy this, untill the uncut version is out … which will be in november …

  6. Zothecula says:

    This is very disappointing, I can understand that they want the clarity of the movie the very best, what is a Blu-ray without extra's? What is a Blu-ray with something BD Live? They could have very well included a second disc with extras and BD Live content.
    I doubt now that I will waste that kind of money on it now, I will probably just buy the DVD version when it goes on sale later.
    Just FYI Fox, very bad move. I love the movie but not worth it for the Blu-ray disc now.

  7. Cory M says:

    This release is exactly what Blu-Ray was made for. "Avatar" is a visual treat that deserves the very best release format for what ate in a growing majority of homes today. 3D is getting there and I trust when more homes have compatible viewing technology, the film will be there for viewers to enjoy. In the mean time, I just got my tax refund so I'm jumping on the 1080 flat screen purchase and Blu-Ray player in anticipation of expieriencing "Avatar" again.

  8. stevo says:

    the whole point of this movie is 3d, no point to owning a blu ray that is not 3d, I saw the movie in the theater in 3d, I can wait a long time for 3d equipment prices to drop to realistic levels.

  9. badblokebob says:

    "the reason the movie has done so well isn't because of the 3-D, it's because of the story and the messages and the imagination."
    Really? I think those people need to some more films then, because if there were things 'Avatar' lacked they were an original story, new messages and unique imagination. (Though, in fairness, "good dialogue" was even harder to come by.)
    3D is the reason for the film's success, both literally — it wouldn't have grossed so much without those inflated 3D tickets — and figuratively — a lot of people who wouldn't have cared otherwise went to see it out of curiosity. On DVD and Blu-ray, especially at premium pricing, one wonders if it will sell as well… and if it does, how many unsuspecting regular folk will get it home and moan about the lack of 3D.

  10. Jeff says:

    "And the reason the movie has done so well isn't because of the 3-D, it's because of the story and the messages and the imagination."
    This is one of the most laughable quotes I've ever read. The only reason I even considered seeing this over hyped piece of garbage was for the 3D. The 3D was great, I won't deny that. I couldn't imagine what an immense waste of time this movie would have been in 2D. Because of the story…. LOL!!!

  11. Steven says:

    Yeah can't wait best movie ever seen it to many times to count definitely gonna get it in april and in november when they release the ultimate editon.

  12. Dale Fargo says:

    Will this release of the DVD contain any of the deleted scenes?

  13. Geoff Boucher says:

    Dale, no it will not.

  14. Dale Fargo says:

    No deleted scenes. Then I will just wait for the Extended/Director's Cut DVD/Blu Ray release. No sense in paying twice.

  15. Josh says:

    Well I just pre ordered the Avatar Two-Disc Blu-ray DVD Combo that comes out on the 22nd from Amazon. Wont this have extras? And will it still have the top-of-the-line audio and video presentation?

  16. CinemaDude says:

    Sorry, not so excited about it here — I WANT MY AVATAR IN 3D. I saw it in IMAX dual digital projection 3D and nothing short of being able to recreate that experience, at least as close as I can come to it in my livingroom will do. Sure Fox will rerelease it at the end of the summer in theatres and I am hoping that at that time they will be wise and piggyback on that media blitz, a 3D BluRay release. It will be in time for the holiday season when 3D TVs and players will be the hottest thing on the shelves. THAT's the time to strike, Fox folks. Everyone who buys a 3D set will be ravenous to also purchase AVATAR 3D-BluRay for their system….as will I. Until then, seeing it in 2D will just be a disappointment, as much as I love this film. The 3D element is an intergral part of the experience. Can you enjoy the other elements in 2D? Sure, but you can say that about seeing it in black and white or in mono sound. It's not the same film in 2D, just as it wouldn't be the same film in mono sound or in B&W.

  17. Alex says:

    Did any of you really watch it then? The story line was excellent. True scifi fans should have enjoyed such a story. It was an inspiration to me. I look forward to the movie in April.
    Another thing, B&W movies are just as good as those in color today maybe better. Color doesn't make the movie, sound doesn't make the movie. Most movies today are garbage. Hollywood doesn't really do anything new when it comes to ideas instead we get sequels of the same things. I'm tired of sequels.
    They did good on not releasing the 3D just yet we aren't ready for home viewing good 3D movies such as this one. Give it a decade or so.

  18. I have a feeling that Avatar is one of those movies that you get more out of when you watch it again. I had that experience with Batman The Dark Knight which we rented (and were sorry we didn't buy.) That means I'll have to give some consideration to Avatar. I don't actually buy many movies…

  19. Matt says:

    I got my Avatar DVD copy at a good price. I bought it at http://www.BuyAvatarMovieDVD.com
    They have some cool posters too

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