Avatar DVD And Blu-Ray Plans Officially Announced

It was about time Fox spoke up and put James Cameron's wagging tongue to rest. Finally, we have the officially announced plans for Avatar on DVD and Blu-ray, and they're trying something a little bit different...

The first release comes this April. Just as Jim said, the US launch will be on April 22nd which is, appropriately enough, Earth Day. Meanwhile, the UK release is set for Monday April 26th. Not so far away, then. 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.

Don't like the idea of bare bones? At least my fellow Brits will be able to get some kind of supplement. Here's a quote from the press release:

The UK is exclusively releasing a Limited Edition Blu-ray available for pre-order only by online retailers containing 4 lenticular art cards and a 'Survival Guide' book.

And that's what you can see in the picture at the head of the post.

Any US retailer exclusives are not yet clear. If you know of any, then please pop them in the comments.

Later on, in November, a multi-disc special edition Blu-ray will be coming along. According to Fox's statement, this will not be the eventual 3D release (and, according to inside voices, the chances of Fox getting a satisfactory 3D Avatar disc ready by then are looking quite slim).

More details are forthcoming after a press event on March 23rd, at which James Cameron and Jon Landau will personally unveil more details of the film's upcoming iterations. I expect this will also be when we get confirmation of a theatrical release for the 'extended cut'.

Incidentally, it seems that Benelux, France and Spain will be getting the discs first on April 21st, one day before the US. I have to wonder how many hardcore fans will be making a pilgrimage...?