First off, let me say, I haven’t seen Avatar. It may, indeed be a fantastic movie, and the effects look cool enough, I suppose, but I’ll wait until I can get it for a buck or watch it at a friend’s house (if that doesn’t constitute copyright infringement, and, given the course of things, someday soon, it might). Interestingly, this movie has already topped every other movie in the history of recorded film in box office. That means it’s made tons and tons of money, while also being one of the most, if not the most, pirated movie ever. So, how exactly has that illegal copying hurt Avatar? How much better than the best ever could the sales have possibly been?
Anyway, director James Cameron and the studio, 20th Century Fox (there’s an apt name, if I’ve ever heard one. Do they even realize it’s the 21st century now? Has been for a decade or so) have started down a somewhat disturbing road. First, they locked out movie rentals for 30 days after the DVD release to boost sales. Well, apparently, the disc has some copy protection on it that requires blu-ray players to download some sort of upgrade for the disc to even play properly. Quite a few folks are pissed, after assuming, rightly so, that paying the extra bucks for the blu-ray version would actually mean you could watch the film without hassle. Guess not.
Anyway, from all reports, if you do get the movie to play, what you get is a stripped down version with no special features and any of the fancy stuff that blu-ray was supposedly designed for, you know, an enhanced viewing experience, other than a supposedly superior picture, of course. Well, apparently, the plan is to re-release the film with added footage (the director’s cut, I suppose) in the fall, followed by a new round of DVDs and blu-ray discs, then later a 3D version with yet another release of DVDs and blu-rays. Exactly how many times do they think people, even big fans, really want to buy the same product? I understand that they have a commodity, and they are more than free to try to exploit that, but this seems a bit too far to me.
The film has already surpassed expectations for sales in a big way. Do you really need to soak your audience three or four more times over? Isn’t there a point where you just have to say, “Hey, maybe we should be a little more considerate to the people who put out their hard-earned money to see our movie than trying to sap more of it from them, one new blu-ray release at a time?” At what point does an honest desire to find success and protect your work turn into unmitigated greed?
If I understand properly, the point of the film is decrying humans trying to exploit these poor, simple aliens by stealing their precious resources. Apparently, the people selling this movie don’t see the irony of essentially doing the same thing to the movie-going public. Do as I say, not as I do, I suppose.