Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that James Cameron’s epic Avatar became the best selling Blu-ray of all time after just four days in stores. According to unofficial reports, Avatar is also the most pirated Blu-ray ever, still, rather surprisingly official sales actually exceed downloads by at least the factor of ten.
The Twentieth Century Fox claims that 2.7 million Avatar Blu-ray units were sold in North America alone. Avatar Blu-ray sales crushed the previous record of 2.5 million units, which either was the Dark Knight or Iron Man. Retail sales of Avatar Blu-ray and DVD discs have exceeded 6.7 million units since its launch on the 22nd, on pace to be the best selling title in recent history.
The extraordinary initial sales for Avatar are clearly a game changer for the Blu-ray format. Blu-ray players for the first time are surpassing DVD players at retail outlets across the country as fans are upgrading their systems to experience the best picture and sound quality available.
Meanwhile, there are at least 200 thousand copies of Avatar movies that have already been downloaded from the Internet and the number will be growing.
But while 2.7 million copies is definitely an achievement, sales could have been even higher. The Twentieth Century Fox decided to release the Avatar without adding any scenes that were cut from the movie that was shown in cinemas or additional materials, while postponing release with additional scenes and materials to late 2010 and delaying Blu-ray 3D version even further. Moreover, if Fox had released Avatar at the same time around the world, not only sales would have been higher, but also the piracy would have been lower.