I've started to notice something strange over the last month or so. I was in a checkout isle making idle conversation with the person in front of me when Avatar came up. I forget how or why it came up in the first place, but she wanted to know what I thought of it. She had missed it in theaters, but had heard a lot of people talking about it and was really looking forward to buying it when it came out on DVD on April 22nd. The fact that she knew the exact date of its retail release is what stood out to me, particularly because she admitted that she really didn't watch that many movies.

The intervening weeks have found me making more idle chat with complete strangers and the same thing keeps happening. People who I would not expect to follow things like DVD release dates keep bringing up Avatar and its impending release on DVD and Blu-ray. Just now I had a plumber at my house for some work in the kitchen. He asked what I did for a living, I told him I wrote about movies, and the very first thing he brings up is how Avatar is coming out on DVD/Blu-ray on April 22nd and he wanted to know what I thought of it.

What's even better is he didn't even get the name of the film right (he called it Atari), but that really doesn't matter since he knew the exact date he could go out and buy it. That last bit is even more impressive considering Avatar is coming out on a Thursday instead of the normal Tuesday. I'm wondering if anyone else out there has noticed an upswing in awareness of Avatar coming out on DVD.

Strangers in the past have never, ever asked me about movies yet alone specific DVD release dates, but every conversation I find myself having lately seems to involve the other party bringing up James Cameron's film. What's even more bizarre to me is that I feel like I haven't seen a severe increase in advertisements for the date. I watch just as much television as I do movies and I want to say I've seen more recent spots for Sherlock Holmes on DVD/OnDemand than I have Avatar.

So what gives? Are people as hungry to take Pandora home as they were to visit it in theaters? Because if that's the case, I hate to see what kind of influence Fox's retail haul will have on the DVD market. If Avatar's box office numbers had every studio in Hollywood scrambling to convert their film to 3D, I shudder at the thought that a new round of record-shattering sales means we're going to see even more films getting a bare bones release before the special edition double dip in the future.