When it comes to Oscar screeners, they’ve saved the biggest for last. Fox has finally mailed out screeners for Avatar, in 2D format. (Not to worry: Cameron told me recently that he shot the film to succeed in 2D, which is how it will be initially released in DVD to consumers.) The James Cameron blockbuster arrives in Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences member mailboxes any moment. Most screeners arrived in December so voters could catch up on films during the holidays, but Fox held back until Avatar crossed the $1 billion mark. Also, Fox wanted more time to encourage voters to see the pic on a big screen in 3D, and did its best to ensure that Academy screenings were packed. And then there were the studio’s concerns about piracy at a time when the film was building its box office. But holding back the screener wouldn’t have impacted piracy anyway, judging by a recent Times of London report that named Avatar the fastest-pirated movie with 980,000 illegal downloads in its opening week.
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