Although James Cameron may be the “king of the world”, he seems to be learning from the master of merchandising, George Lucas, when it comes to the distribution of his properties. Fans of the film Avatar, of which there are legion, have steadily been handing over cash as the film was released in theaters, re-released (twice), released on DVD and blu-ray in 2D, and then released as a three-disc special edition last month. But somewhat ironically for a film that many see as the most persuasive argument for people to look at 3D TVs for the home, there is still no 3D version for the home. It is inevitable, but no one is sure when it will be released, or how much it will cost.
Well, it appears that the answer to when is now, but as for how much it will run between $299 and a few thousand.
Panasonic has announced and exclusive deal with 20th Century Fox which will give the manufacturer the exclusive rights to release the Avatar blu-ray in 3D. All you need to do is head out and buy a brand new Panasonic Viera 3D HDTV VT or GT series. Alternatively, you could buy the Panasonic 3D Full HD Ultimate Pack, which comes with two sets of 3D glasses as well as the movie for $399, but the glasses are proprietary and will only work on a Panasonic 3D TV.
But if you own a 3D TV from another company, fear not. Copies of the film in 3D have surfaced on eBay, and bidding disc on the disc (that will likely cost $29.99 or so when it is released to the public) is beginning at around $199.
Although it is certain that the film will eventually be released to the masses in its native 3D format, no word yet on how long Panasonic will retain the exclusive rights, or when we might see the film on store shelves.
So the real question is how big of a fan are you?