Warner Attempts to Create False Scarcity for Harry Potter DVDs
October 25, 2011

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. will stop shipping physical copies of all eight Harry Potter movies on DVD and Blu-ray — including the Complete Collection of all 8 movies mega-set that releases on November 11 — as of December 29, 2011. Digital purchases will still be available after this date, and stores and resellers may stock up in anticipation, so it may be visible on shelves for a while after.

Harry Potter is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, and Warner appears to want to find more ways to make money from it. Presumably, announcing “get it now or never!” will increase Christmas sales, and this allows for future re-releases, a la Disney’s “vault” system.

According to another version of the announcement,

Warner Home Video plans to release a comprehensive Harry Potter film collection, with even more extras and collectible premiums in 2012. More details about the collection will be available at a later date.

Hold off for better extras, or gotta have it now? It’s tough being a collector.

3 Responses  
Thad writes:  

On the whole I’d say stunts like this probably still work, but there are bound to be diminishing returns.

Expect to see this result in a spike in piracy — and lawsuits, since the film industry is still in the “sue your customers” phase of adapting to digital markets — but for WB to make money hand-over-fist anyway. It IS Harry Potter, after all.

Meanwhile, I’ve all but stopped buying videos due to the current fragmentation — DVD’s are obsolete and low-quality, Blu-Ray is still a niche format and may not exist five years down the road, and legal digital videos are almost always DRM-encumbered. I realize I’m not representative of the mainstream movie market, but, well, Netflix has problems of its own.

Tim Driscoll writes:  

One big hitch in this plan: thousands of used DVDs floating around. Checking on Amazon, some are going for less than a dollar. Full Screen versions are as low as 18 cents! It’s actually kind of hard to get rid of DVDs for money right now…

Johanna writes:  

Good point. Warner themselves is selling Harry Potter DVDs starting at $4.25 each right now.


»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa
Copyright 2009-2015 Johanna Draper Carlson