How do you make an already incredibly profitable franchise that much more profitable?
Make it hard for the consumer to get hold of; pull it out of circulation.
That is exactly what Warner Bros. are doing with Harry Potter, Deadline report. As of the 29th December this year, Warner Bros. will stop shipping copies of all of the Harry Potter films, including the most recent Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, on both DVD and Blu-Ray, meaning that once they go out of stock in shops, that’ll be it.
The article doesn’t explicitly mention the UK, but it’s probably a safe bet to think that UK shops and consumers will find themselves in the same position as the US. Though it might sound counter-intuitive, it of course means that your sales in the time period it is on sale for has the potential to be incredibly driven up, with everyone who wants a copy of the films ensuring they buy them before they go off the shelves.
Deadline do note, however, that it won’t be forever. It sounds like Warner Bros. are taking a leaf out of Disney’s book, who have often stopped circulation of their films, and then release a re-issue with more special features some time in the future. And that’s the plan for Harry Potter. So we may see it go, but it should just be temporary.
According to Jeff Baker, the Senior Vice President/General Manager of Warner Bros.’ Theatrical Catalgoue, the Complete Eight-Film Collection that is due out here on 2nd December won’t include,
““an Ultimate Edition on the final two films” which means there inevitably will be “some grand kind of piece” Baker says could come at “the end of 2012 or the beginning of ’13.””
I know that a lot of fans of The Lord of the Rings were patient in their wait for the recent release of the extended version of the trilogy on Blu-Ray, so no doubt there will be many fans of the Harry Potter franchise who will want to do the same, waiting for this grand release that Baker makes mention of. But there will also be many who will want to make sure they get their copy of the final film, and any others missing from their collection, before they fly off the shelves at the end of this year and the start of 2012. So the decision is in your hands; choose wisely.