Warner Bros.’ latest Harry Potter release embraces Blu-ray while leaving DVD owners feeling like 2nd-class citizens

10 Feb

Warner Bros. (WB) announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is coming to Blu-ray on April 15th.   It will also be released that day on DVD…well sort of.

WB is banking on “Pottheads” springing for the $35 Blu-ray combo pack loaded with features rather than settle for the barebones DVD that merely includes some deleted scenes & little else.  The Blu-ray is mysteriously bloated with extra DVD & digital copies of the film, while the DVD version is decidedly sparse…perhaps the film should be renamed Harry Potter & the Greedy Movie House

The penultimate movie is the 2nd highest grossing Harry Potter movie to date, but that will probably change with the release of Part 2 in July.

Warner Bros. hopes you run from your DVD player like Harry impersonating Twilight's Edward Cullen in his woodlands jaunt above. Perhaps there's a Best Buy at the bottom of that forest hill?

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 DVD/Blu-ray will contain the following special features:

3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack:

Exclusive Sneak Peek of a scene from the highly anticipated upcoming film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Maximum Movie Mode – Join host Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and other members of the cast and crew, on an interactive journey through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Plus, revisit important moments from the previous films to prepare for the final battle that takes place in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
Dan, Rupert and Emma’s Running Competition – While filming the escape scene from the Snatchers in Swinley Forest, Dan, Rupert and Emma engage in a little competition of their own. With colorful commentary by Director David Yates, see the competitive spirit on set and this hilarious rivalry between the three leads.
The Seven Harrys – See how Daniel Radcliffe recreated the personalities of the different characters that transform into Harrys in the hilarious Privet Drive scene.
On the Green with Rupert, Tom, Oliver and James – Accompany Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) and James Phelps (Fred Weasley) for a round of golf and get a glimpse into their 10-year friendship that developed while making the Harry Potter films.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Promotional Trailer – Join Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and other cast members from the Harry Potter films on their first visit to the Grand Opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
• Additional Scenes
• Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: Behind the Soundtrack
• Standard Definition DVD of the feature film
• Digital Copy of the feature film

• Additional Scenes

Additional scenes?  That’s all the DVD version has to offer??

Why would Warner Bros. (WB) only offer fans a stripped-down DVD but a decked out Blu-ray package? 
Answer: They want to entice people to buy the more expensive version & push the latest technology, hence the existence of the Blu-ray combo pack (apparently no barebones Blu-ray will be offered).   I can see Beyonce singing “Upgrade, upgrade!” from that TV ad.

What’s even more insulting for Americans is that WB is actually offering a 2-disc DVD version with plenty of special features to our friends across the pond in the U.K., but not in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.

Perhaps WB did research that showed that Blu-ray discs or single disc DVD releases don’t fare well in the U.K. where more people are on a budget/more frugal, but in America they could succeed with a more greedy scheme of “forcing” people to buy Blu-ray b/c the DVD is such a barebones offering.  Trust me, WB spends millions of dollars on marketing and spending research to try to squeeze every last bit of revenue out of these movies. 
Some background:
Any more, for a studio/movie house to decide on buying the rights to a script and actually making a film, they have to know the movie will “pay for lunch” (meaning it will turn a profit).  As long as the movie makes money in ticket sales, DVD/Blu-ray sales & merchandise, then the investors who put money into the project will receive large dividend checks later.  WB is then hoping these investors (or shareholders who collectively own the WB company) will happily invest more money in more film projects in the near future to keep expanding WB’s empire & keep everybody employed in Hollywood.  Whether or not the film is actually any good is sort of unimportant to them as long as it makes money.  This is why so many well-known franchises keep getting sequels despite mixed or even bad reviews on the last movies (such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Meet the Parents series, X-Men/Marvel comics series, Scream series, Toy Story, Exorcism, Freddy Krueger, James Bond etc.) – as long as the investors/movie house (such as WB) made money on the movie, they hardly care how “respected” the film was or whether people really liked it b/c they just want the profits from that movie so they invest in another project to make even more money LOL 
Common sense would say the movie must be “good” or else no one will go see the next one, but with a lot of animated films, horror films, & established series, the movie houses do so much research they know that even if the movie is bad people will still pay to see it!  This next Harry Potter or Twilight film could be awful, but based on the prior movies they know a lot of people will pay big bucks to see it!  In fact, even if the last movie in the series was bad, they can still usually project whether or not another movie in that series will make money based on market research.  If so, the movie usually gets made.  If not, it usually doesn’t.

Hopefully WB will release a solid 2-disc DVD package for Americans who still enjoy DVD & haven’t moved to Blu-ray yet.  Until then, prepare to break out your wallet before your popcorn.


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