Warner Brothers announced back in October of 2011 that they would be pulling the Harry Potter movies off the market as of the end of 2011. This led to widespread panic on the part of many fans who thought that the films would be disappearing forever. Of course, that is not the case! This is a marketing ploy designed to increase demand for the films. They are in the business of making money, after all, and how could they do that if they never sold the movies again?
After they witnessed the reaction of fans, Warner Bros. took the rare step of commenting publicly to reassure the public that the movies weren’t going to disappear for good; instead, they would be disappearing for less than a year, and a new deluxe edition of the Harry Potter Box Set would make its way into stores in time for the Christmas 2012 gift-buying season.
Now, it turns out that the panic was even less necessary than believed. Warner Bros. may no longer be shipping new units of the Harry Potter DVDs to retailers, but it turns out that they must have shipped plenty in the last months of last year, because all the movies are still in stock at every major retailer we checked. Wal-Mart and Target and Amazon still have the movies in stock, so the visions of empty shelves that many fans foresaw have not yet come to pass. Of course, it is possible (or even probable) that some or all of these retailers will indeed run out of stock of the movies sometime in the coming months (and you should buy the movies now if you want them, just to make sure you get them before they run out–unless you are willing to wait for the box set that is coming next Christmas).
So, what to make of this story? It turns out that it worked. Warner Bros. sold many, many units of the new box set of all 8 films over the Christmas season (Amazon was out of stock for two weeks in December), and anticipation seems to be high for the deluxe version that is coming later this year. It remains to be seen whether this version will include all the extended/special editions of the first movies, or even of the later movies (extended editions of the later movies have NEVER been released, but fans are still hopeful that they will come along one day).