The Release date is finally here for the official Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD, which is available in regular format and in Blu-ray at Amazon. The thing is, Warner Brothers has announced that this movie will only be available from now until the end of the year! After that, Warner Bros. will no longer ship new copies to merchants. Merchants will be allowed to continue selling their stock on hand, of course, but after they run out, there won’t be any more…at least for a while. This is widely seen as a move on the part of Warner Brothers to not only increase the interest in the Harry Potter movies over this holiday season, but also to increase future demand—there’s nothing quite like telling people they can’t have something to make them want it even more!
This strategy has been successfully used by Disney for many years. This way, Warner Bros. will be able to produce an ultra deluxe version of the Harry Potter box set of DVDs in a year or two, and people who bought the currently available box set will feel compelled to buy the deluxe version. It’s a way to get people to buy the same thing twice. You can also see the currently available blu-ray version here.
This strategy has not been universally popular. When the box set was originally announced, customers on Amazon were so outraged that it did not include the deluxe, extended editions of the movies (the box set only contains the theatrical releases of each movie), that they began writing negative reviews for the set—a full month before it had even been released! Most of the Harry Potter DVDs average a four or five star rating, since the series has legions of devoted fans, but the box set, which you would expect to be one of the ultimate collector’s items, had a mediocre three stars out of five on the date of its release. Of course, you can’t please everyone all the time, and kids who get these movies for Christmas are bound to be overjoyed with the gift—they aren’t going to care that it wasn’t the extended editions (which only existed for the first few movies in any case—most of the movies have NEVER had an extended edition released).
So, what to do? Should you buy the current set or wait for the release of the deluxe version? If you already own the first seven movies, you could get away with just buying the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, to complete your collection. If you’re giving a gift, the box set seems like a very nice option. If you prefer to wait to see if they release the extended edition box set in a year or two, you can take your chances—there’s no guarantee it will happen. It may be five years…or even longer.