This post isn’t going to be about how Avatar really wasn’t anything new story-wise. Yeah , visually it was pretty cool, but I’m all about STORY, and it really didn’t have a great one because I’ve seen it a hundred (three) times (Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves, and Fern Gully). So in that case, it really didn’t deserve the Oscar nomination it got for Best Movie. Because it wasn’t.
Nor is it going to be about how next time we proclaim a movie is the biggest of all time, can we factor in inflation please? Because ticket prices have changed just a little. It’s a wee bit unfair and I may be saying this because one of my favorites Gone With the Wind is at the top of the list when adjusted for inflation/ticket prices.
Nor is it going to be about I’m really not a fan of James Cameron and may have celebrated a little when he lost the Best Director Oscar to his ex-wife. No, I’m not going to talk about those things (any more than I already have) because it’s all old news. Instead, I want to talk about how the movie is being released to the masses today.
The movie, which has a strong environmentalism theme to it, is being released on Earth Day. Duh, no brainier there. As it should be. Makes perfect sense to me. However, this release is the bare-bones edition. It has the movie. That’s it. No special features, deleted scenes, commentary, making-of featurettes that fans of movies, and this movie in particular, have come to expect and enjoy from their movies. Now, if they weren’t ever planning on release them, that’s fine.
However, the fine folks at 20th Century Fox ARE planning to release them. In November. With another DVD and Blu-Ray release to capitalize on the holiday season giving. Which means fans of the film have a dilemma at hand. Do we buy the movie now, enjoy it, and not ever think about getting the expanded special features release that’s going to be totally cool and have all of these awesome things we want to see but won’t because we already have had our copy since April and we don’t need another one. Do we wait and on a boring Friday night in July longingly wish that we had that DVD to watch so we won’t be bored? Or do we get a copy now, and the special edition in November?
My guess is that a lot of people are going to do both. That’s 20th Century Fox’s guess too. They’re hoping that you buy as many copies as they’re willing to release, which has led some to call this intial-Earth Day release the total sucker version.
Just like I have friends that have two sets of Lord Of the Rings DVDs because they had to have the extended edition, but couldn’t wait the extra months before having a DVD copy in their hands. And it’s not like I don’t have multiples of things. I have two sets of Harry Potter books because I had to have the U.K. set. I’m not judging anyone for this practice. Not saying that New Line, or J.K. Rowling or 20th Century Fox have bad business practices.
It’s just this particular film, and the sentiment behind the release date, I’m wondering if in this case, it’s a little hypocritical? “We need to save our resources, but by the way we’re going to produce two sets of these DVDs that have to be packaged twice, shipped across the country twice, you have to drive to the store to get twice, all USING these resources we need to save.”
It makes me wonder if 20th Century Fox thought about this. Or James Cameron. Or ANYONE else. Am I the only one who feels like this? Am I letting my dislike of the movie and the director cloud my thought process?
I don’t mind the two releases. Go for it. Don’t make fans wait until the holidays to see the film again. I also understand that they are looking to make as much money on Avatar as possible. But couldn’t they have been innovative with this release? Eco-friendly, since that is the take-home message of the film? Why couldn’t they have released it on Earth Day by utilizing a download to tide the fans over until the bigger release in November? Or maybe only release it once. It’s not like they haven’t made a killing off of this movie (and are looking to make more with a theatrical re-release in August). Do they really need to trick the public into buying two (or more) copies of this movie?
*jumps off soapbox to go watch Gone With the Wind, the true highest grossing film of all time*