Panasonic shuts out all other customers
The Blu-ray 3D version of Avatar is coming out in December, ahead of the film's initial 2011 projection, but it'll only be available to people who buy a Panasonic 3D TV.
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Yes, it's a huge coup for Panasonic but an enormous loss for consumers. According to Twice.com, The only Blu-ray 3D title that's really worth defining the format will be available only to Panasonic customers for an "undisclosed period of time."
It's unsure yet if it will come packed in with Panasonic TVs, if consumers will need to send in a mail-in form to get their copy, or if it will be included as some part of special Panasonic bundle. But make no mistake - Panasonic nabbed the distribution rights.
There are four Blu-ray 3D titles currently available, but there's only one you can go into the stores and buy. The others are exclusive to TV manufacturers and are available as pack-ins or promotions with their specific products.
That's because movie studios are largely reluctant to spend the money on creating a Blu-ray 3D disc, when only a very small number of people actually have a 3D TV. At the same time, TV manufacturers need people to be drawn to their sets. So, naturally, the manufacturers are basically paying the studios for the cost of the Blu-ray 3D conversion in exchange for exclusive access to that format.
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The only Blu-ray 3D movie in stores is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, by Sony Pictures. Sony 3D TVs do get the movie for free but those with another manufacturer's TV can still buy it.