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Harry Potter Flies To Video May 28

5 Feb, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will arrive on VHS and double-disc special edition DVD May 28 (prebook April 23) with all the fanfare Warner Home Video could possibly provide for the world's most famous pre-teen sorcerer.

If the special features themselves don't whip retailers and Harry Potter fans into a frenzy, the price will at $16.95 MAP on VHS and $19.95 on DVD. Five minutes of extra never-before-seen footage will be included on the special edition DVD as well as the VHS.

The special features disc of a two-disc DVD special edition includes never-before-seen footage from the film, a self-guided option that viewers can use their remotes to explore Hogwarts, including the Gryffindor common room, the great hall of Hogwarts, Harry's room and Hagrid's hut. Disc one will contain the film in both widescreen and pan-and-scan versions.

The second disc will also include new interviews with director Christopher Columbus and producer David Heyman.

A Quidditch training session features an original montage with the characters of Harry and Oliver Wood. Viewers can play "seeker" by trying to catch the golden snitch with the remote.

More fun for would-be witches and wizards-in-training will appear on the disc. Viewers can choose their own Ollivander's wand, cast a spell over a scene, create potions (mess up and you land in the infirmary, just like Harry does in nearly every adventure), transfigure an object, open a screaming book, sneak past the three-headed demon dog Fluffy and other challenges to get a peek at the mirror of Erised.

The disc also contains video highlights of students, professors and ghosts of Hogwarts.

DVD ROM users will get more than their fill with features that include a sorting hat ceremony, downloadable flying owls in the great hall, Quidditch screen savers and a personal "Rememberall". Computer DVD users can also get owl e-mail messages and, collect wizard trading cards and play Harry Potter Game Demos.

Warner is also sponsoring a display contest for retailers. Using Warner-supplied POP materials (prebook April 16), retailers can create their own unique product displays and submit a photo of their creations. The merchandisers will have 3-D special effects with characters from the movie like Hagrid the groundskeeper and Fluffy the three-headed dog.

Warner has also planned a media blitz for the mega-release, as well as partnerships with Coca-Cola running August through December -- timed to the release of J.K. Rowling's fifth book of the series -- and the November theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Warner will also have a back-to-school program with Harry Potter merchandise.

The flick has earned $313 million and will have a 45-day pay-per-view window.

Will Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone be the biggest-selling video of 2002? Of all time? Tell us what you think here.

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