By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 18, 2012 at 4:59PM
Not content with holding 25 box office records to date, Marvel and Joss Whedon's superhero team-up flick "The Avengers" looks to continue to dominate the top ten this weekend, beating competitors "Battleship," "Dark Shadows" and "The Dictator" remorselessly, as though they were CGI recreations of a RADA-trained actor playing a Norse god. How far it goes is a good question: crossing the two-billion dollar mark and overtaking "Titanic" could be a distinct possibility, but we suspect "Avatar" might be out of reach -- that film had months to play with little competition, while blockbuster season starts to kick up a gear in the next few weeks.
But what's clear is that Marvel, and distributors Disney, are already starting to look beyond theatrical and towards further revenue streams, as the company have announced (via JoBlo) that the film will be arriving on home video formats in only a little over four months, on September 25th, as well as giving up the details on what looks to be the extras package.
The DVD, as tends to be the case these days, is relatively sparse, with only a commentary by director Joss Whedon (which is admittedly sure to be a treat) and a featurette on 'Assembling The Ultimate Team.' But those who've upgraded to HD get a whole host more from either a two disc combo Blu-Ray set, or a four-disc 3D blu-ray set with all of the above, plus a new Marvel short called "Item 47," something called a 'Second Screen' -- presumably some kind of picture-in-picture deal, a gag reel, and some extensive deleted scenes. Whether it adds up to the 30 minutes promised by Whedon isn't clear yet, but there seems to be plenty here, including an alternate opening and ending featuring Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), an extended version of the scene between Mark Ruffalo and Harry Dean Stanton (yes!), and something called an Extended Viaduct Fight. Where was the viaduct fight? Did we forget that completely? Or is this a whole new excised action sequence?
It's not all good news, though; you also get a music video for the song that Soundgarden contributed to the film. Disney: we will pay an extra ten dollars for a Platinum Version where there's no chance of hearing the track. Just so you know. There's also reported to be a ten-disc set in the works featuring all the Marvel movies leading up to this, but that's yet to be confirmed officially. Even if that doesn't happen, Marvel are sure to be raking it in all over again. Again, the film hits stores on September 25th, and you can check out teeny-tiny versions of some of the covers below. Watch the way the artwork gets progressively less shitty the more you have to spend on it.
Artwork removed at request of studio.