Avatar sold 3.2 million DVD (including Blu-ray) copies on its first day out (not including rentals), last Thursday, according to figures provided by 20th Century Fox (via Deadline.com). Earlier reports had Avatar selling 4 million units.
James Cameron's 3D sci-fier – on DVD in plain old HD 2D – broke The Dark Knight's record for Blu-ray sales: 600K copies for TDK vs. 1.2 million for Avatar.
However, The Dark Knight holds the record for “old-format” DVD sales: 2.1 million copies vs. Avatar's 2 million. (Of course, there were fewer Blu-ray players then; most people had to buy regular DVDs.)
Approximately 2 million more Avatar DVDs were sold on Friday. Two-day total: 5.2 million copies (if figures are accurate), beating the Twilight Saga: New Moon's 4 million copies sold on that title's first two days out just a couple of weeks ago.
Photo: Avatar (WETA / 20th Century Fox)
James Cameron's 3D big-screen blockbuster Avatar (above, Pandora's floating mountains) has already become a 2D DVD and Blu-ray blockbuster. On its first day out, Thursday, Earth Day, Avatar set the Blu-ray sales record for one day, with 1.5 million copies sold. (Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight had been the previous record holder with 600,000 Blu-ray copies sold.)
According to estimates, overall 4 million copies of Avatar have been sold. (Update: A later report says that 3.2 million copies were sold.)
Avatar producer Jon Landau was quoted as saying in The Hollywood Reporter that “we're not focusing on sales. We're focusing on the [Earth Day] events” that have been tied to Avatar's DVD launch. Landau then talked about kids being “the future” and that the Avatar release is “raising awareness.”
How many of those kids will actually go home aware that global warming is quite possibly the most serious threat currently facing planet Earth, and how many will actually change their lifestyles for that reason are whole different matters. They should have statistics for those things as well.
A 3D version of Avatar is expected to come out later in the year, perhaps as early as November. (The film is also expected to hit 3D theaters once again in August, with six extra minutes of footage.) The 3D DVD release will be a “special” version with an array of bonus features. If that'll be the “Special Collector's Edition” remains to be seen. 20th Century Fox may want to keep on “raising awareness” until Pandora's waterfalls have gone dry.
To date, the Robert Pattinson-Kristen Stewart-Taylor Lautner romantic triangle The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which raised awareness about the dangers of interspecies dating, has sold 6.5 million copies since late March – 4 million of these on its first two days out. For now, New Moon holds the year's DVD record.
Avatar Pandora image: WETA / 20th Century Fox.
The 2010 edition of Ebertfest, Roger Ebert's film festival of overlooked (and not-so-overlooked) movies, kicked off at 7 p.m. this evening with a screening of Alan Parker's (not-at-all) overlooked Pink Floyd The Wall.
(I'm no fan of the film; I was told that to you need to be on acid to appreciate its artistry. I have no intention of ever taking up that suggestion.)
Ebertfest 2010 highlights include Roy Andersson's totally overlooked (in the United States, at least) You, the Living, which consists of dozens of vignettes featuring average people and their oftentimes comic/bizarre problems; Lee Isaac Chung's Rwanda-set Munyurangabo, a slow-moving, episodic tale featuring two friends roaming that country's war-scarred (but quite beautiful) countryside (Ebert calls it “a masterpiece”); and Yojiro Takita's anything-but-overlooked Departures, the surprise winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award last year.
Departures, the tale of a musician who ekes out a living as a corpse “beautician,” was much criticized in some quarters for its sentimentality.
I haven't seen either I Capture the Castle or The New Age, but both sound intriguing. More information on both films on their Ebertfest pages.
Ebertfest, which is being held at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Ill., comes to a close on Sunday, April 25.
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE 2010
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21
Pink Floyd The Wall in 70mm (R; 95 min)
You, The Living (95 min)
Jessica Lundberg Actor, Johan Carlsson Production Manager & Assistant Director
THURSDAY, APRIL 22
Munyurangabo (97 min)
Lee Isaac Chung Director, Sam Anderson Co-writer & Producer, Jenny Lund Co-Producer
The New Age (R; 112min)
Michael Tolkin Director & Writer
Apocalypse Now/Redux (197min)
Walter Murch Sound & Film Editor/Sound Designer
FRIDAY, APRIL 23
Departures (PG-13; 130min)
Yôjirô Takita Director
Man with a Movie Camera (68 min)
Synecdoche, New York (124min)
Charlie Kaufman Writer & Director, Anthony Bregman Producer
SATURDAY, APRIL 24
I Capture the Castle (R; 113min)
Bill Nighy Actor
Vincent: A Life in Color (96min)
Jennifer Burns Director & Producer, Vincent P Falk Star
Trucker (R: 90min) James Mottern Writer & Director, Michelle Monaghan Actor
Barfly (R; 97min)
Barbet Schroeder Director
SUNDAY, APRIL 25
Song Sung Blue (85min)
Greg Kohs Director, Claire Sardina “Thunder”