Cameron pegs 'Avatar' to 3D Blu-ray in November, Fox denies

The 3D Blu-ray release of the blockbuster is inevitable, it's just a question of when. Director James Cameron and studio Fox float conflicting information.

Our great mother Eywa does not take sides, Jake; only protects the balance of life. 20th Century Fox

The 3D TV hubub at CES roughly coincided with "Avatar," the highest-grossing theatrical release of all time, hitting theaters in 3D. It seems natural to assume that the inevitable home video release of the 3D HD version of the "Avatar" Blu-ray would coincide with the introduction of new 3D HDTVs, which are slated to appear as early as May . But according to director James Cameron, that Blu-ray won't appear until November.

"It's all right on schedule," said Cameron during a Wall Street Journal interview. "We'll do the Blu-ray and the standard-def DVD April 22nd, that's our plan as of right now, and that'll be pretty much bare bones. And then we'll do a value-added DVD and a 3D Blu-ray in I think November sometime."

Apparently Cameron spoke out of turn. A subsequent update from Fox Home Entertainment denied his release date statement, saying "3D is in the conceptual stage and 'Avatar' will not be out on 3D Blu-ray in November." The studio would not confirm any home video release dates to the Journal, which is owned by News Corp, of which 20th Century Fox, purveyors of "Avatar," is also a division.

Since the Fox denial puts the Avatar 3D Blu-ray release date squarely back into the universe of conjecture, we'll chime in with our own prediction: Cameron is right. Fox will capitalize on the box office momentum to release a "bare-bones" DVD and Blu-ray as quickly as possible, and April 22nd is Earth Day, which dovetails with the film's pro-environment bent. We're guessing both will include a 3D version in the old colored-glasses ("anaglyph") style, like many current Blu-ray and DVD discs, and be mostly bereft of commentaries, special features and collectible figurines.

November will see the full-fledged "Special Collectors Edition in True HD Blu-ray 3D 1080p x2" (or whatever they want to call it), just in time for the holidays, complete with blue body paint (thanks EngadgetHD), Neytiri mask with exclusive blue striped 3D shutter glasses, and a fiber-optic-veined Unobtanium centerpiece that looks like a miniature version of the Ayvitrayä Ramunong. It will also contain 2D and 3D versions of the film on Blu-ray, the latter in the new, full-HD version that utilizes the latest 3D technology , along with plenty of 3D special features. Price TBD.

What's your prediction?

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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