With the third-highest-grossing film of all time making its DVD/Blu-ray debut, it shouldn't be a surprise that most other distributors are giving it a wide berth in the marketplace. New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
Avengers'' - In hindsight it's easy to assume this was a guaranteed, can't-miss hit. But its critical success hardly was certain. Writer-director Joss Whedon had to overcome more obstacles than most - from blending characters from films with different styles and tone to finding enough screen time for everyone and adding superheroes that have tanked at the box office in solo venture - to get this superhero all-star team to that pinnacle.
''The Avengers'' is a wonderfully entertaining comic book movie in the best sense of the term. It doesn't really try to transcend the genre the way Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight'' movies do, but it fills the screen with the spectacular action sequences expected from a summer blockbuster and fills the beats in between the action with engaging characters and plenty of humor.
Frankly, the moments when skyscrapers and sky ships aren't being destroyed are the most satisfying. Whedon has a knack for mixing all of the required exposition with witty banter that also develops the characters: call it quiposition. And the cast - Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) - handles the banter and the brawling with equal skill.
The DVD comes with a commentary track by Whedon and the featurette ''Assembling the Ultimate Team.'' All other versions add deleted scenes, a gag reel, the featurette ''A Visual Journey,'' the Soundgarden music video for ''Live to Rise'' and a ''Marvel Second Screen'' app, which allows viewers to access additional content on a second device while watching the film. The four-disc version includes the CD ''Avengers Assembled: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture,'' which includes songs by Shinedown, Rise Against, Papa Roach, Bush and Buckcherry. (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, $29.99 DVD, $39.99 DVD/Blu-ray combo, $49.99 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray / DVD / CD / digital copy combo)
''The Dark Knight Returns: Part One'' - DC Comics' fans aren't shut out this week. This animated Batman saga features Peter Weller (''Robocop'') providing the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman, although like Christopher Nolan's films, it draws inspiration more from Frank Miller's graphic novels than the original DC books. (Warner Home Video, $19.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray)
''Resident Evil: Damnation'' - While the live-action films based on the video game series continue to do big business (especially overseas), this computer-animated series inspired by the same game follows agent Leon S. Kennedy as he battles the zombies created by a deadly virus. Extras include a gag reel and the featurettes ''Las Plagas: Organisms of War'' and ''The DNA of Damnation.'' (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $26.99 DVD, 30.99 Blu-ray)
''Damsels in Distress'' - Writer-director Whit Stillman returns with his first film in 13 years. The comedy focuses on a group of women at an East Coast college, and the cast features Greta Gerwig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Analeigh Tipton and Adam Brody.
Stillman is joined by cast members for a commentary track and a Q&A-session featurette. The disc also includes deleted scenes and outtakes. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
''The Tall Man" - Jessica Biel plays a mother searching for her missing child and uncovers a legend involving ''The Tall Man,'' who abducts children in this thriller. The disc includes a deleted scene. (Image Entertainment, $27.97 DVD, $29.97 Blu-ray)