×

‘Harry Potter’ DVDs to vanish Dec. 29

Warner Bros. hopes to encourage sales with disc decision

Warner Bros. is putting the “Harry Potter” franchise back in the vault.

The studio plans to stop producing and shipping DVDs and Blu-rays of all of the “Harry Potter” films to retailers Dec. 29 to encourage consumers to snatch up the discs before they’re no longer available.

WB has initiated what it calls “moratoriums” on select high-profile titles over the past seven years, beginning with “The Wizard of Oz.” Other titles that have been held from shelves include “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Camelot,” “Lethal Weapon,”

“Casablanca,” “The Exorcist,” “Doctor Zhivago,” “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” with the films then relaunched to celebrate milestone anniversaries.

In 2001, Disney began making homevid releases of its more popular titles, especially animated classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Bambi,” “Fantasia” and “The Lion King,” available for a limited amount of time, before putting the films “back in the vault” for several years until their next re-release on disc. Disney’s vaulted films are unavailable to purchase or rent from legitimate retailers.

“Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Diamond Edition” and “Fantasia/Fantasia 2000: Special Edition” were put into the vault this year after about a year or more in stores.

The strategy was the homevid equivalent of re-releasing the films in theaters for brief runs.

The discs WB will shelve include “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” and “Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection,” both out Nov. 11.

The franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for WB since 2001. That includes $7 billion at the global B.O. for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The series is being inducted into the Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame on Dec. 5, making it the first franchise ever inducted into the Hall of Fame for its record-setting sales and creative innovation.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gerard Butler Angel Has Fallen

    Film Review: 'Angel Has Fallen'

    “Angel Has Fallen” marks the third time that Gerard Butler, as the Secret Service agent and scowling samurai cowboy Mike Banning, has had to rescue the President of the United States from an international conspiracy so cuckoo bananas that the movie barely expects you to believe it. (Actually, in the six years since this series [...]

  • Jessica

    Ninja Thyberg's Female POV Porn Industry Portrait Seduces Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Paris-based Versatile has announced a raft of pre-sales on Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature “Jessica,” set in the adult entertianment industry in L.A. World distributors that have pre-bought the Swedish drama take in Weltkino for Germany/Austria, Xenix for Switzerland, MK2/Mile End for Canada, KTH for South Korea and Movie Could for Taïwan. Several [...]

  • Sony Pictures: 'We Are Disappointed' by

    Sony 'Disappointed' by Disney's Divorce on 'Spider-Man' Projects

    Sony Pictures has gone public over its divorce with Disney on future “Spider-Man” projects. In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    ‘Good Boys’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Good Boys.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.42 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Demi Lovato

    Demi Lovato Joins Netflix Comedy 'Eurovision'

    Demi Lovato has joined the upcoming Netflix comedy film “Eurovision.” Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the film with Andrew Steele, announced the news Tuesday with an Instagram post, in which he wished Lovato a happy birthday with a “homemade” cake. Following the announcement, Lovato can be seen blowing out candles on the cake next to a “Eurovision” [...]

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content