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Avatar Breaks More Records, in DVD Sales

Avatar Breaks More Records, in DVD Sales

Thompson on Hollywood

As DVD sales decline (8% in the first three months of 2010), studios and filmmakers are putting more energy into their marketing. Not to rest on their Avatar laurels ($2.7 billion global gross) James Cameron and producer Jon Landau returned to the campaign trail to promote the April 22 Earth Day DVD release. It worked. Avatar sold 2.7 million Blu-ray discs in just four days, a record:

The previous record holder, “The Dark Knight,” has sold 2.5 million Blu-rays since its debut 16 months ago. Fox also sold 4 million standard definition DVDs. The combined total makes “Avatar” the biggest DVD launch of the year, breaking a previous mark of 4 million Blu-ray and DVDs combined set by “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” on its first weekend in March.

And Variety reports 6.7 million units around the world.

And that’s the bare-bones, relatively inexpensive no-extras version of Avatar. Fox and Cameron are waiting to sell another round of the spruced-up deluxe edition in November, at a premium. And you know Cameron wants to release a 3-D DVD in 2011. On At the Movies, outgoing critics A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips reminded that the bigger the screen and higher the definition (Blu-ray is a must), the better a movie like Avatar will look. Here’s Cameron on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Meanwhile, worries continue to mount that most of the rising tide of 3-D movies won’t come close to meeting the Avatar standard, as per the LAT. With global grosses of 3-D hits Avatar $2.7 billion + Alice in Wonderland $876 million + Clash of the Titans $388 million + How to Train Your Dragon $372 million = $4.4 billion total (per Gitesh Pandya), no wonder every studio in town has 3-D dollar-signs dancing in their heads. Now the Sherlock Holmes sequel will be 3-D.

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