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Warner to Put ‘Potter’ on Moratorium

24 Oct, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2

Warner to Put ‘Potter’ on Moratorium

By Ashley Ratcliff

Warner Home Video is slated to stop shipping all “Harry Potter” films — including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection — Dec. 29.

The studio noted in an Oct. 24 announcement that the moratorium does not include the films’ availability through electronic sellthrough, video-on-demand or video games, and only applies to the United States.

“As the product sells down, it will sell out,” said Jeff Baker, EVP and GM of theatrical catalog with Warner Home Video. “There will be less of a supply in the marketplace in 2012. … The height of ‘Harry Potter’ consumer demand for physical product will certainly occur in the fourth quarter of [2011].”

Warner, however, doesn’t plan to have the moratorium in place for too long.

“We’re preparing to eventize the re-release of the franchise in physical goods in the U.S. sometime later, with new products that have never been introduced. … It will probably happen within a year (12 to 18 months) of when the moratorium occurs,” Baker said, adding that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, for example, waits several years to release certain titles from its vault.

With the continual availability of titles, the demand for the product is diminished, Baker said.

“The idea is to create a little sense of urgency from the consumer. But at the same time, it’s to reinforce and support the re-entry and eventizing of it later on,” he added. “If the product is available in the marketplace and there is no moratorium, if we want to do a big promotion in a year on ‘Harry Potter’ with new skews, it’s going to be hard to get the consumer to take it seriously when the product has basically been readily available anyway.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 will be released on disc Nov. 11.

The “Harry Potter” franchise, which reportedly has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment, will be inducted into the Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame on Dec. 5.

According to Warner, the series was selected for its “record-setting sales” and as its “creative innovation,” making it the first franchise ever to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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