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WB Deliberately Waiting to Announce Release Date of Half-Blood Prince DVD, News on Australian DVD

HBP Film
Posted by: sue
September 14, 2009, 08:34 AM

Over the past few weeks, we've seen several varying reports on release dates for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DVD. Home Media Magazine is reporting this confusion and uncertainty is because WB is deliberately withholding the formal release date. The article says that WB apparently feels by withholding the exact date and their releases until late in the year, it will help increase sales as they believe holiday shoppers will wait until last minute to make their purchases. Quotage:

Warner Home Video has decided to release its tentpole titles later than usual, anticipating consumers will delay holiday purchases until the last minute, said a Time Warner senior executive...Packaged media and digital release dates for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($298 million domestic box office) and The Hangover ($272 million) are still pending.

Speaking at an investor confab in Marina del Ray, Calif., Time Warner CFO John Martin said the No. 1 home entertainment studio (in market share) continued to scrutinize the entire business, which he said included Blu-ray Disc, electronic sellthrough, video-on-demand (VOD), rental kiosks and Netflix, in an effort to extract the maximum margins in the various distribution channels. “We are purposely putting our titles into the retail channel later in the fourth quarter to try and take advantage of what we believe will be the optimal foot traffic trends in retail,” Martin said.

Related: While WB is holding back formal announcements on the release date of the DVD, several readers let us know about pre-orders and release dates in Australia. First TLC reader Luke let us know that the Half-Blood Prince DVD in Australia can be pre-ordered at this link, with a November 30th date. Also, as first reported here, WB is releasing two "Ultimate Collectors" edition DVDs this fall, with TLC reader Jack letting us know that  Sorcerer's Stone, and Chamber of Secrets special editions are due out on November 18th in Australia. More when we get it, stay tuned!

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370 Points

That’s stupid why won’t they just announce the date? All the same people are going to buy it no matter when they put it out…it’s Harry Potter for crying out loud!

Posted by **Holly** on September 14, 2009, 08:55 AM report to moderator
738 Points

Whatever. It will CERTAINLY be released in the 6 or 8 weeks before Christmas, since it is such a buying frenzy time. Not like this will be a big mystery!

Posted by bettb [ITC!] on September 14, 2009, 09:05 AM report to moderator
1661 Points

Oh man!! WB! Those are the TWO dvds I want the most!! As long as they come out this year then I’m good…I’m going to by them regardless of when WB announces the release date. The Hangover and Half Blood Prince were my two favorite movies this year! I can’t wait!!! :D

Posted by cghambright on September 14, 2009, 09:10 AM report to moderator
130 Points

We’re (Australia) hardly going to get the DVD first so that release date is surely going to be mimicking the American one, if not even later.

Posted by Clabwag. on September 14, 2009, 09:14 AM report to moderator
3153 Points

As long as it comes out this year I guess I’ll be ok with it.

Posted by Leeann on September 14, 2009, 09:31 AM report to moderator
1642 Points

jeez,I want the DVD next month! and I’ll probably have to wait until 2010. :(

Posted by Matea on September 14, 2009, 10:06 AM report to moderator
1585 Points

Warner Bros is becoming increasingly annoying…

Posted by axlgirl [FTC!] on September 14, 2009, 10:22 AM report to moderator
80450 Points

They spend too much time and effort analyzing things that need no analysis… Just release the dang DVD, and it will sell, sell, sell…

Posted by Won_Two on September 14, 2009, 10:30 AM report to moderator
8876 Points

Yeah, I dont really understand their logic … as soon as the DVD becomes available for preorder, I’m going to buy it. Why delay announcing the date … what do they hope to achieve? Maybe if they announced the date as something like December 10 we could think they’re hoping to get holiday sales but, at least by announcing the date they can start getting preorders. I’m totally confused by their reasoning. People that are going to buy HBP or the SS & COS special editions are going to buy them. Not announcing a date just means that we cant preorder them. Weird …

Posted by Moose_Starr on September 14, 2009, 10:54 AM report to moderator
33 Points

The only reason for the late release is to have the Christmas No. 1 DVD, the kudos that will give WB Aus with WB head office must mean a lot to them. Don’t worry about the true fans, they just bankroll the business.

Posted by Ocky on September 14, 2009, 11:06 AM report to moderator
1884 Points

Actually this may back fire on them. People will be buying their Christmas much earlier this year to make sure they have the money to buy. The days of having a lot of money for last minute shopping are over. That was done mostly with charge cards and people are being more careful with their charge card spending. Oh the real fans will purchase the DVD because they already have it planned in their budgets but the impluse buyers may not be there.

Posted by Cool G on September 14, 2009, 11:22 AM report to moderator

Still, something doesn’t make sense about the release of HBP…by postponing the theatrical release, WB had tons of time to determine what would be on the dvds, print, package and have them stockpiled in warehouses….yet clearly that is not what happened. Illogical, and given some of WB management decisions in the past year or so, consistently incompetent (remember Slum Dog Millionaire?). WB increasingly dominates film, tv, and dvd….yet it appears to be more by accident rather than by any thoughtful coherent plan.

Would WB’s profit margin be so much larger by cutting down on pre-orders (even via say Amazon, with a discount: most if not all of the discount would come out of Amazon’s profit margin, not WB’s). and relying on walk in holiday sales at Walmarts, etc? I would assume not….there would be increased profits for the retailer, not WB, so where’s the logic?

but, then, look at the economic mess that the world’s business leaders have gotten us all into!

Posted by budb on September 14, 2009, 11:34 AM report to moderator
1397 Points

Exactly, this is so silly! All the super fans are going to buy the DVD no matter, what they are just risking that the impulse buyers won’t be there, DVDs aren’t exactly stocking stuffers.

Posted by Blatcher(ROAR) on September 14, 2009, 11:41 AM report to moderator

good point, cool G…i am one of those early, careful shoppers, and like to have things wrapped up well in advance. almost done with the grandkids already, and need to order 3 of the HBP, and one each of SS and Cos (for myself, if the budget allows…)

i really think the WB executives are badly out of touch…but my opinion of business executives is not very high to start with, and never has been

Posted by budb on September 14, 2009, 11:42 AM report to moderator
6690 Points

o well, it’s exhausting being mad at WB all the time, i really don’t care, i will buy it whenever they decide to put it on the shelves…

Posted by levi-OH-sa, not levio-SA [neville♥myhero] on September 14, 2009, 11:42 AM report to moderator
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