"Avatar's" Blu-ray presales strong, Cameron says

A scene from the film "Avatar" is shown in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters February 2, 2010. REUTERS/WETA/Fox Pictures/Handout

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - James Cameron said Tuesday that presales for the April 22 home video release of “Avatar” are mirroring what happened in theaters, where audiences paid extra for 3D presentations.

During a media event at a West Hollywood mansion, the “Avatar” director said presales of the higher-quality Blu-ray Disc version have consumers “choosing a premium experience in the home, just as they did in theaters.” The pic also will be available in a 2D version.

Cameron said he expects Fox Home Entertainment’s worldwide release of “Avatar” on Earth Day to drive sales of Blu-ray players and discs much in the way the movie convinced filmgoers to pay extra for 3D and pushed theater owners to upgrade their movie houses.

Fox also announced a tie-in with the environmental group Earth Day Network, which will plant 1 million trees in 15 countries with the studio’s support.

Cameron told about 100 journalists in attendance that he has long been an environmentalist, but after writing and directing “Avatar” he is “taking it to a whole other level.”

He said he hopes the home video release will enable more children to see history’s top-grossing film and that they will become “warriors for our planet, or else it’s not going to survive.”

Fox will follow the April 22 release with a more expansive set in November and a 3D version next year.