‘Harry Potter’ DVDs Disappearing: Experts Weigh In

All “Harry Potter” DVDs are being pulled from store shelves at the end of the year, heading into Warner Bros.’ vault for an as-yet-unknown length of time.

Fans are understandably frustrated by the news — first, no more new “Potter” movies, and now we can’t even buy the old ones anymore? — but perhaps there’s a silver lining to be found. If there is, there’s no one better to identify it than some of the top “Potter” experts and movie commentators floating around the blogosphere. We reached out to NextMovie’s Breanne Heldman, Hypable’s Andrew Sims and MTV’s very own Terri Schwartz for their thoughts on the latest “Potter” news.

Initial Reactions
» Terri Schwartz: When Warner Bros announced this earlier this month, I was more peeved than anything else. It seems a bit silly to pull the “Potter” DVDs off shelves only a month and a half after the eighth and final film gets released on home video. I think it’s hard to see this move as anything other than an attempt to get the “Potter” DVDs selling faster and in higher quantities.

» Andrew Sims: I was surprised, and the most interesting part about the decision is that they’re being pulled so soon after the holidays. Taking them off shelves just four days after Christmas seems like an impatient move. I think waiting until at least late January or February (to cater to those who may’ve set a Potter New Years Resolution) would’ve been better.

Exploring The Logic
» Breanne Heldman: With all the “Potter” films out of theaters and permanently available for purchase on home video, the cash cow dies, and so does some of the excitement for the franchise. This way, a few years down the road when the movies get re-released, enthusiasm can (and will) reach a fever pitch again, and this will likely effect the sales of more than just Blu-rays.

» AS: I think Warner’s idea is to make a big deal and pull them so it’s a big Holiday gift, and then bring a new collection back next year. They’ll announce that they’re “reopening the vault” or something to that effect in late 2012 and promise new special features on an updated set. The “Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration” next month in Orlando will send a big “goodbye forever!” message to help push the sales.

The Fan Response
» AS: The fans so far have reacted pretty negatively. I think they’ve been thinking more about potential new fans who want to go out and buy the films after December 29th. New fans will be left with no options other than digital or on-demand purchases, which seems unfair. It also stings the fans because they hate to see their Harry disappear. No more new films was bad enough, but now we can’t even see him in stores!

» BH: True fans will run out and buy their copies when they hit shelves on Nov. 11, so this will be a non-issue for them. But, unfortunately, enterprising minds across the web will likely see opportunity for some cold hard cash.

Next Steps
» TS: Honestly, hearing this news is making me think that fans should wait to buy the big boxed set that will be released of all eight “Potter” films. Since Warner Bros is pulling the “Potter” DVDs off shelves at the end of December, you can rest assured that they’re going to come out with an even better Platinum Deluxe Phoenix edition in a year or two that is jam-packed with all the extras they didn’t put in this one. If you’re the type of person who just wants to see the movie, then sure, buy it now, but if you (like me) prefer the Special Edition to the regular DVD, I’d say hold on to your pennies and wait for the next edition a few years down the road. Or just pick your money tree in the backyard and buy both.

Will This Work?
» BH: Did the expelliarmus charm ultimately kill Voldemort?

How do you feel about the “Potter” news? Tell us in the comments section and on Twitter!

Additional reporting by Kevin P. Sullivan.