Thor: The Dark World comes out on Blu-ray today.
Benefiting from the “Avengers bump”, coming 18 months after that 1.5 billion grossing hit, Thor: The Dark World has become the third highest grossing film in the Avengers series.
But with the home video release fans must make a choice. Continuing the unfortunate, but common, practice of splitting bonus features across multiple exclusive retailers fans have to choose which features are worth their dollars.
The Blu-ray is available in two editions, a single-disc 2-D version, or a multi-format 2 -disc version which includes the movie in 2-D, a 3-D Blu-ray copy of the film, and a code for a HD Digital download of the film through iTunes or UltraViolet.
Both Blu-ray releases have the same basic set of bonus features: Extended and Deleted scenes (including an extended celebration scene, more with the dark elves, and Jane learning about the aether), gag reel, the 30 minute featurette “A Brothers’ Journey: Thor & Loki”, and a look at “Scoring Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World” with composer Brian Tyler. Of most interest to Avengers film fans are likely the audio commentary with Director Alan Taylor, Producer Kevin Feige, and fan-favorite actor Tom Hiddleston, as well as an exclusive look at April’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Also of note is the film short called All Hail the King. Since the release of Captain America: The First Avenger on Blu-ray Marvel has included short features that help tie the Marvel cinematic universe together. With All Hail the King however Marvel has taken it to the next level, bringing back acclaimed, award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley to reprise his role as Trevor–the fake Mandarin from Iron Man 3. Given that character’s polarizing response among Marvel’s film fans this follow up should be of great interest to see how Feige caps off the story of this comic relief actor/villain from last May’s Iron Man film. The description of the short is: After the events of Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Trevor Slattery is an infamous icon. He’s also locked up in a high-security prison. Luckily, his newfound profile has brought him celebrity and protection on the inside – and the actor has gladly agreed to an in-depth profile with a documentary filmmaker
But then brick and mortar retailers Best Buy, Target, and Walmart all have exclusive versions of Thor on Blu-ray, and digital sites iTunes and Amazon have exclusive features as well.
Best Buy has the 3D film in a gorgeous steelbook case. The only difference here is packaging, but steelbook collectors will certainly want to check this version out.
Target has an exclusive Loki O-Sleeve over the Blu-ray. Again, there is no new content on the discs (in the past Target has often included an extra disc with bonus features), but you do also get one month exclusive access to Marvel Unlimited, allowing you to read digital comics for free on your computer, phone, or tablet.
Walmart is the only brick and mortar to have a version with exclusive bonus features. Through the VUDU service Walmart customers can view a bonus featurette “Loki: The God of Mischief.” This includes a look at Hiddelston’s 2013 appearance at San Diego Comic-Con International where he appeared on stage in the full Loki costume.
Amazon also has a digital exclusive through their Amazon Instant Video service. This bonus content looks at the visual effects work that went into making Thor: The Dark World.
Finally iTunes offers a bonus featurette looking at the comic book origins of the Dark Elves, Algrim the Kursed, and how these bad guys transitioned from the page to the big screen.
Fortunately if you want one of the physical discs you can likely get the iTunes bonus content as well. On Star Trek Into Darkness and other Blu-ray films with iTunes digital copies the exclusive iTunes bonus content is able to be viewed as well. I will update this article later with confirmation that this is still the case with Thor: The Dark World.
For those without a Blu-Ray player, a bare bones DVD release is also available. Disney did not include a DVD with the multi-format Blu-ray release forcing those without a Blu-ray player to buy either an additional version or a version with no bonus features. Cover variation collectors be aware – the DVD version has a red stripe down the spine, the Blu-Ray version has a blue stripe.