In what might seem like a very very strange business decision, Warner Bros will stop shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles starting December 29th. This is usually not something you do with the most successful film franchise of all time.
Here’s the press release:
Burbank, CA – October 24, 2011 – Harry Potter, the #1 motion picture franchise of all time, will soon disappear from shelves, as Warner Bros. stops shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) as of December 29, 2011 (moratorium does not include digital – Electronic Sell-Through & VOD – or games). The Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment – with $7 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
As you can see, Warner Bros. have given no explanation for this but I might be able to help with that. You see, such a move just before Christmas boosts demand for the movies considerably. This means people have to buy the DVDs and Blu-rays before the 29th of December otherwise there ain’t gonna be no Harry Potter left for them. That’s short-term, in the long-term Warner could re-release the movies as events (and this is probably what they are planning). In the past Disney pulled similar stunts and it worked well for them so Warner Bros. are following suit.
Bottom line is this, if you want an original copy of any of the Harry Potter movies (or the entire collection) on DVD or Blury, you have to buy it this year, otherwise you’ll be left with bootleg copies found on the corner of the street. Warner Bros. want your money now.