Avatar, the James Cameron 3D space epic which has broken box-office records worldwide, is finally coming to homes on April 29th. However, it may not play to the same sensory level that audiences experienced in the cinema, as the upcoming Blu-Ray and DVD releases will only be in 2D.
Considering most of the movie was designed to be viewed as a 3D film, the announcement of a standard 2D-only release is a letdown if you're one of those Avatar fans planning to re-live the experience on a new 3D television.
And for anyone curious about how the world's most accomplished 3D spectacle would play in homes - you'll just have to wait for now. When we queried Fox about the eventual date of a 3D Blu-Ray release, a spokesperson told us that they have no 3D announcements to make and no confirmed dates as yet. But James Cameron may beg to disagree.
In an interview with James Cameron in the Wall Street Journal, Cameron was quoted as telling the Journal that a November release date was most likely. Not surprisingly, Fox quickly vetoed the director's 3D enthusiasm and said Cameron was only referring to the 3D release in its earkly conceptual stages and no 3D release date for 2010 was assured.
Going back to Pandora in 2D may not be the experience some may have been hoping for
Fox also told us that the reasoning behind the bare-bones 2D release was made to satisfy those Avatar fans who were more than happy to return to Pandora without the geeky glasses. In other words, some Avatar is better than no Avatar, given the unlikely choice.
A rumoured director's cut (with 15 minutes of new material and expanded scenes) may find it's way onto a confirmed "ultimate edition". That flashier version of the Blu-Ray will ship with bonus materials in November, the Fox spokesperson told us.
With Samsung 3D TVs available in store by this weekend, the timing of the Avatar Blu-Ray release is a missed opportunity for early adopters. Sony, Sharp and Panasonic will also have 3D TVs ready for release in the first half of 2010.
The Avatar Blu-Ray release will ship for $39.95, while the DVD will cost $29.95. Both will be single disc editions with no bonus material, apart from a couple of links to the official Avatar web site.
But without a 3D Pandora on the roadmap (or at least unconfirmed for now), the potential excitement of 3D home entertainment seems as out of reach as those floating islands in the sky.