Warner Slots Sixth ‘Harry Potter’ for Dec. 817 Sep, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey
Warner Home Video has picked Dec. 8 for the DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment in the popular franchise. Prebook is Nov. 3.
That same day Warner will release the first two “Harry Potter” films as “Ultimate Editions” on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc, both with new features and collectibles.
Warner will make Half-Blood Prince available on demand a week after street date, Dec. 15.
“Although the ‘Harry Potter Ultimate Collector’s Editions’ are sure to satisfy rabid Harry Potter fans, the extended versions of the films, being released for the first time, along with meaningful bonus content, will appeal to a broader audience beyond just the core fan,” said Jeff Baker, Warner Home Video’s EVP and GM of theatrical catalog.
For Half-Blood Prince, the Blu-ray will include Warner’s new Maximum Movie Mode feature, which first debuted with Watchmen July 21. The interactive experience allows viewers to examine the film as it plays via features such as “Focus Points,” photo galleries, and picture in picture, and includes commentary from director David Yates, producers David Barron and David Heyman and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton. BD Live features, such as “My Commentary,” “Live Community Screening” and Facebook also are included.
The Blu-ray combo pack also has a standard-definition DVD copy of the film as well as a digital copy at $35.99.
The DVD editions come in single-disc ($28.98) and two-disc ($34.99) options, and both the Blu-ray and two-disc versions will include two lengthy behind-the-scenes featurettes, including one focusing on the last year of writing the “Harry Potter” books with author J.K. Rowling; two smaller, cast-centered featurettes; deleted scenes and a look at Universal Orlando Resort’s new Harry Potter attraction. The two-disc DVD also includes a digital copy.
As for the ultimate editions, Warner spared no expense with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, with new, one-hour featurettes for both, which will combine with six future one-hour featurettes to complete an eight-hour documentary about the process of bringing the franchise to film. The upcoming final two films in the saga will be based on the seventh “Potter” book.
The ultimate editions will feature theatrical and extended editions of the films, 48-page collectible photo books, new introductions by cast members, never-before-seen footage of cast screen tests, completely new featurettes, as well as featurettes from earlier DVD releases. Both DVD and Blu-ray offerings of the ultimate editions will include digital copies, and the Blu-ray versions will include In-Movie Experience modes with director Chris Columbus, which includes picture-in-picture, storyboard comparisons and still galleries, as well as Warner’s Maximum Movie Mode option.
“The in-movie experience, from a seminal filmmaker, adds a new dimension as well,” Baker said. “The new one-hour featurettes highlight unique aspects of the filmmaking process and are terrific records of the franchise, looking back on the evolution of the characters, stories and actors over the past decade.”
Warner will tie-in the launch of the sixth “Potter” film on disc with a DVD game and iPhone and iPod Touch applications.
Half-Blood Prince is the year's No. 1 film at the worldwide box office with $922.6 million, and No. 2 domestically with $299 million.