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‘Avatar’ Topples ‘Star Trek’ In Blu-ray Record

Nearly half of sales on opening week were Blu-ray for the Cameron flick

Well that was different.

Twentieth Century Fox focused on Blu-ray/DVD combo packs, as well as how the latest James Cameron film should be viewed in the best quality available, and “Avatar” in turn broke records for the percentage of Blu-ray DVDs sold.

“Avatar” sales in its opening week were 49 percent Blu-ray, more than any other home video opening of any other movie. That replaces “Star Trek” at the top of the Blu-ray percentage heap, that movie selling 37 percent of its opening weekend units in the high-definition form, according to The Nielsen Co.

Cameron’s film of the Na’vi and Pandora also beat “The Dark Knight” in terms of overall Blu-ray sales on opening weekend, which had previously led the pack, but only had 22 percent Blu-ray sales in 2008 as the technology was still building an overall audience. However, “Dark Knight” only had 62 percent of the sales “Avatar” did, while “Star Trek” overall had only 34 percent of “Avatar” sales in its opening week.

What “Avatar” didn’t do, however, was take the title of the most overall home video units of all formats, in its opening week. That honor still belongs to “Finding Nemo” in 2003. “Avatar’s” sales only accounted for 61 percent of the Pixar movie sales, good for seventh place, just ahead of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and behind “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.”

“The Dark Knight” is the only film that has come closest to “Nemo,” selling 82 percent of what the computer animated feature did in 2008 followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in 2006 with 80 percent of “Nemo’s” sales, “The Incredibles” in 2005 with 77 percent of “Nemo’s” sales, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” in 2003 with 77 percent of “Nemo’s” sales.

Interest in “Avatar,” especially as it was released during the week of Earth Day, is at an all-time high, according to Nielsen, the online interest matching that of “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” back in 2005.

“Avatar,” with an estimated budget of $237 million, grossed $746.4 million in domestic box office totals, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, moving past both “The Dark Knight” and “Titanic.”

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