Only days after learning about plans for a theatrical re-release of Avatar this fall, the highest-grossing film of all time has a home video release date. It may not be as glorious as you hoped, though.
According to /Film, the US release of Avatar will hit stores on April 22nd (which not-so-coincidentally is also Earth Day), as raw as a newborn Na'Vi:
These first releases are now said to be completely without any kind of special features whatsoever in order to free up the data space on the disc. They've also ditched motion menus, studio logos and anything else irrelevant. Apparently, mastering Avatar for disc was a six week process as opposed to the typical two weeks and the transfer is something of a record breaker.
Oh great, another record for director James Cameron. It will be interesting to see the consumer reaction to essentially empty DVDs, and with Blu-Ray sales still rising, the desire for more features and deeper discs is growing. Obviously, Fox won't be calling it quits on Avatar any time soon and plans a November release as well.
The later release will include supplements, but still no 3D. This whole idea of 3D home entertainment is an argument of another shade, but I've never heard of what these guys are planning here. Frankly, I don't get it. Fox is rushing to pump more money into the Avatar machine with theatrical re-releases and raw DVDs, while showing a total lack of interest in giving the people (who $upported the film) what they want.
I have no desire to spend $20-$30 on just a movie; when I spend my money on home entertainment, a healthy portion of it is for the special features, from gag reels and behind-the-scenes footage to deleted scenes. Especially when it comes to Avatar - especially after they announced there was over 40 minutes of unused footage to be included in the home release. I've seen the movie (eight times), and now I want to see how it was made before I watch it a ninth time.
Producer Jon Landau has his own reasons for this sans-features release, as quoted on Blu-Ray.com, via the Los Angeles Times.
"We wanted to do something really special and reach for the best presentation of any film in the history of the format. 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."
More information is on the horizon as a press conference with James Cameron and Jon Landau is scheduled for March 23rd, where they will likely confirm all the latest news stories regarding Avatar, its home release and possible theatrical re-release.
So, considering everything you know about Fox's plans for 2010, will you be dishing out the greenbacks for Avatar in April, waiting for the more extensive release in November, sit tight until the second theatrical run, or maybe even hold out until the unresolved 3D release? Let us know.