Film fans often complain that digital releases lack the DVD extras. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Lightstorm Entertainment are fighting back against that reputation with Avatar iTunes Extras Special Edition, which comes with six hours of material and interaction available nowhere else.

The most impressive digital extra is the ability to control the performance capture and visual effects levels in 17 scenes. A feature the release calls Green Screen X-ray enables viewers to use their mouse to see the original green screen footage and interact to see how the performance capture evolved into the completed scene.

“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, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. “These new interactive features enhance the experience and encourage digital ownership.”

Available only for PC and Apple computers, Avatar iTunes Extras Special Edition is available on preorder before it goes on sale tomorrow, Dec. 20, for $14.99 standard definition (7 GB) and $19.99 high definition (12 GB).

Also tempting people to purchase rather than rent the digital version is an original screenplay by James Cameron and a novella called a scriptment (which is some scenes broken out into dialog), and a gallery of 1,700 images among other extras.

Avatar already is the top-selling Blu-ray disc and highest-grossing film of all time, generating nearly $2.8 billion in worldwide box office. It was honored with three Academy Awards: Best Achievement in Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects. It also received six further Oscar nominations, including Best Motion Picture of the Year.

Related links: (private access only)