'Harry Potter' home-video exile won't last long, says Warner Bros.

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Relax, Potterheads. All is well. Yes, beginning on Dec. 29, Warner Bros. is halting shipments of Harry Potter DVDs and Blu-rays to Walmart and Amazon and other stores. But discs aren’t being immediately swept from the shelves. “Even though there could be a sense of urgency from the consumers’ perspective, there will be Potter product come the first of the year,” says Jeff Baker, senior vp and general manager of Warner Bros.’ Theatrical Catalog. “But over time, they’ll be less and less of that inventory. At some point, whether it’s next April or May or June or July, it’ll probably be very difficult to find Harry Potter product, especially if you’re looking for the third movie or the fifth movie, for example.”

Even with its gradual disappearance from store shelves, the Potter franchise will remain available in other forms, like video-on-demand and digital download. “The idea is not to let Harry Potter dissipate. There are exhibits around the world. There’s the Harry Potter World [i.e. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter] in Orlando,” says Baker. “There are a lot of things that are Harry Potter that are going to be available to consumers well into the future, and we certainly want a home entertainment component to those grand plans.”

This isn’t the first time that Warner Bros. has pulled a popular title from its catalog. The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and Blade Runner have all vanished from time to time — to then be reintroduced with great fanfare. Disney, of course, is famous for making its classic films drop out of sight from time to time so that it can later make a splash with a new generation of fans.

Warner Bros. doesn’t intend to wait as long, and there are already plans to “eventize” Potter’s return. “There is discussion internally about aggregating assets from all of these films over the last decade and adding some new things — we’ve never done an Ultimate Edition on the final two films — and doing some grand kind of piece,” says Baker. “It could be the end of 2012 or the beginning of ’13.”

Got that, Muggles? Yes, you might want to rush out and purchase The Complete 8-Film Edition when it is released Nov. 11. But even that “complete” set of films will soon be surpassed by another, more complete Harry Potter video collection. So, is this good news or bad news for Potter fans? You decide.

Read more:
Book review: ‘Harry Potter: Page to Screen’
‘When Harry Left Hogwarts’ teaser
EW’s ‘Harry Potter’ HQ

Comments (43 total) Add your comment
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  • Dave

    I don’t have any of the movies yet. I’ve been waiting for a complete box set of all of them, but I’m not buying the one that comes out next month. I’ll wait another year or so for the more complete set.

    • HP Dork

      Me too. I’m waiting for a big blu-ray box set with everything a Harry Potter fan could ever want. And then some.

    • Abby

      Same here, Dave. I’m waiting for the ultimate box set!

      • Elyse

        same. so annoying to have to wait tho, and endure the scare tactics to push us into buying the films now. Warner Bros., y u no give us blu ray box set???

      • Hamlinator

        As someone pointed out on the message board from a previous story, amazon in the UK has an 11 disc set that includes 3 discs of extras. Why isn’t that available in the US?

      • Thomas Williams

        Just order the disc UK Region Free set from Amazon.co.uk it is cheaper than the US 8 disc set even with shipping

  • tigger851

    I’m waiting for the extended-extended version like LOTR……I can wait and ABCFamily plays them all the time

  • tom

    I just hate the EXTREMELY short window people have to buy the latest movie! I mean 48 days! 48 DAYS! Just screw everyone who might be planning a blu ray or high def tv purchase this winter or with their tax refunds so they cannot get it later. I bought the previous 7 on Blu and will buy the 8th but it will be the LAST TIME, I ever buy anything related to Harry Potter from Warner Bros

    • Mike

      “But discs aren’t being immediately swept from the shelves. “Even though there could be a sense of urgency from the consumers’ perspective, there will be Potter product come the first of the year,” says Jeff Baker, senior vp and general manager of Warner Bros.’ Theatrical Catalog. “But over time, they’ll be less and less of that inventory. At some point, whether it’s next April or May or June or July, it’ll probably be very difficult to find Harry Potter product, especially if you’re looking for the third movie or the fifth movie, for example.”

      Translation: I think you’ll have more time than you think.

      • Mike

        Just thought of something else. Don’t the Potter movies come in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack? So if people were planning to upgrade to HDTV and Blu, they could buy that.

  • EmHof

    For the love of all things Potter, can we please get some DVDs with actual, interesting commentary?

    • tVfan

      I could not agree more! Every year they talked about how it was getting darker, and more “adult”…But the dvd commentaries and extra features stayed appropriate for 11-year-old audience.

  • DRG

    Such a cynical ploy on Warner Brothers’ part. No wonder people hate the corporate mindset so much.

  • Jeremy

    Potter is EVERYWHERE. No worries.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Greed Greed Greed

    • Imelda

      Greed is good. Who said that?

      • Elyse

        that guy who went to federal prison….

  • jennysong

    Me too. I’m waiting for a big blu-ray box set with everything a Harry Potter fan could ever want. And then some.
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  • Koala

    WHY?! Would they do this? Its so stupid. If your want Harry Potter to stick around, you need the books and the movies to stick around. But oh wait, they’ve taken the original covers off shelves too. And NOW! they want to completely take away the movies so future generations or people who don’t know about what their doing, won’t get to buy the movies. This is completely unfair and beyond stupid. What if people don’t want to buy the collection and want individual DVDs. You gotta give customers choices.

    • Shetos

      Sounds like a plan to me! We have been on a Harry Potter audio marathon for monhts now. We just finished the 6th and just started the 7th. We can hardly stand it. Maybe to celebrate the end of the audio series, we will do a movie marathon too. I love them all, except for that last one which I feel really missed the mark. But I’ll watch it anyway!.-= Sandyb4s last blog .. =-.

  • tarc

    The very idea that they pull the best movie ever – Blade Runner – from the shelves disgusts me. Doing this with Potter isn’t any less bothersome. I guess I’ll just suggest ‘looking online’ to people that can’t get a legal copy. I’m just glad I’ll have a Blu-ray of all those movies.

  • Jeffrey C

    My plan “A” is to borrow the DVDs from the library when I want to see them. It may take a bit longer, but it’s a lot cheaper.

  • H

    So I have to wait after the end of the world to finally get the Ultimate Editions for Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2?

    Bloody hell!

    • Elyse

      agreed! they really want you to buy like 5 different versions of the same film…they’re trying to take alllll my moneyyyyyy

  • Topanga

    Star Wars, meet your $$-milking successor: Harry Potter.

  • Francis Ellis for London’s Secret

    Harry Potter fans check out London’s Secret by Ella Roberts – watch the story unfold on our Youtube Channel or read the entire book FREE at LondonsSecret.blogspot.com – enjoy!

  • sydney

    i’ve waited so long for Harry Potter Complete Set,
    i need to wait another year to have that ultimate ultimate dvd/blu ray set…. need to think, i still have 2 weeks to go………….!!!!

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