Warner Bros has announced that it will stop shipping all DVD and Blu-ray versions of the eight Harry Potter films on December 29, putting them back "in the vault" to increase scarcity — and the value of future, yet-to-be-made special editions.
The DVDs of the final film haven't even been released yet (it hits stores November 11, along with a box set of the entire series), but the studio is already working on plans to manipulate the market for future Potter products. The current videos won't actually be pulled from shelves, but once they're sold out, they're gone.
Taking films out of print is a familiar tactic to movie fans, particularly when it comes to Disney, which pioneered the limited edition DVD with their animated classics. Creating a false rareness is same strategy that makes the McRib the most-hyped slab of processed pork product on Earth.
What's unusual about the Potter move is that it comes so quickly after the final movie becomes available and only four days after Christmas. Of course, there's already talk of an "Ultimate Edition" that could be available as soon as next Christmas, ensuring that even fans will continue to be able to spend their money on the franchise long after it has cast its last spell.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.