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'Avatar' special edition will feature iTunes Extras exclusive to Apple

Apple has landed a major exclusive with the highest grossing movie of all time, as a special digital edition of "Avatar" is coming with new bonus features exclusive to iTunes.

"Avatar iTunes Extras Special Edition" will be available on iTunes beginning Tuesday, December 20. Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment said in a press release on Friday that the new edition will feature "first-of-its-kind interactive features."

"Avatar" is currently available for preorder on iTunes at a price of $19.99 for the high-definition copy, and $14.99 for standard-definition. The new special features will let movie watchers "deconstruct some of the most memorable scenes to reveal how James Cameron applied special effects to create the breathtaking world of Pandora."

The new features will allow fans to control scene deconstructions in simultaneous views and interact with the performance capture and visual effects levels in 17 of the film's scenes. The new "Green Screen X-ray" feature will give users an interactive look at the visual effects, allowing them to see the original green screen footage used to create scenes in the movie.

"Digital platforms like iTunes usher in new ways to interact with and watch movies like Avatar," said Aubrey Freeborn, senior vice president of marketing and product management for Worldwide VOD and Electronic Sell-Through at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. "These new interactive features enhance the experience and encourage digital ownership."

The iTunes-exclusive edition of "Avatar" will also include an original screenplay from the director, Cameron, as well as a novella with some scenes broken out into dialogue. It will also include a gallery of 1,700 images.


In addition to generating nearly $2.8 billion in worldwide box office, "Avatar" is also the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and won three for Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction.

iTunes Extras debuted with the launch of iTunes 9 in 2009, and are intended to allow digital movie sales to compete with traditional DVDs and Blu-rays, which often feature bonus content and behind-the-scenes footage in addition to the film. But iTunes Extras typically replicate the content found on physical discs, while the upcoming release of "Avatar" will feature new and exclusive interactive content.