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'Avatar' Strikes DVD

by Ray Subers
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April 21, 2010

Purposefully aligning the environmentalist movie with Earth Day, James Cameron's Avatar arrives in stores on DVD and Blu-Ray on Thursday, April 22, or four months and three days after its theatrical debut.

Though the discs are decidedly sans additional features, sales are still expected to be huge, given the movie's massive box office success. In 124 days, Avatar has grossed $745.2 million, which easily surpassed the previous record of $600.8 million, held by James Cameron's Titanic for the past 12 years. In fact, Avatar continues to show signs of life at the box office; this past weekend, it grossed just over $1 million, good for 12th place.

Adjusting for inflated 3D and IMAX ticket prices, Avatar has sold an estimated 75 million tickets, likely placing it among the Top 30 ticket sellers of all time. While that may seem like a come down from its No. 1 gross ranking, Avatar appears to have had greater attendance than any movie since Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999. Additionally, Avatar holds the record for foreign box office with $1.97 billion and counting (accurate historical foreign attendance figures are nearly impossible to come by or estimate, due to poor tracking and fluctuating currencies).

A number of lower-profile movies also saw DVD and Blu-Ray releases this week, including Crazy Heart, The Lovely Bones and The Young Victoria. Crazy Heart (DVD and Blu-Ray), which won Jeff Bridges his first Oscar, has had a relatively solid run in theaters, grossing $39.1 million through its first 126 days, and continues to play in over 200 theaters. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (DVD and Blu-Ray) had little traction in its limited release in December but performed relatively decently when it went nationwide on Jan. 15. After 98 days in theaters, it closed Mar. 18 with a $44 million tally. Finally, The Young Victoria (DVD and Blu-Ray) had a modestly-sized audience in limited release, grossing $10.95 million through last weekend.

Also out on Tuesday were Blu-Rays for Batman Returns and Minority Report. This marks the first time that Batman Returns has been released as an individual Blu-Ray disc, though it was included in a 2009 Batman Blu-Ray anthology. Minority Report was also previously unreleased on Blu-Ray. The Steven Spielberg-directed movie grossed $132.1 million in 2002, and it has a reputation of being one of the past decade's science fiction highlights.

Click here for the complete list of Apr. 20 DVD releases.

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