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DVD Shopping Bag: Harry Potter Vaulted

To Azkaban with you Potter!

By Robert T. Trate     November 08, 2011

 

Today, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 arrives in stores. Now you’ll have the chance to pick up the second part of the final chapter to the highest grossing series of films ever ($7.7 Billion). Yes, this is more than all the James Bond films and the six Star Wars movies if you don’t adjust them for inflation. If you need to upgrade your collection to the Blu-ray format, today’s releases also include the complete Harry Potter series on Blu-ray. However, if you are indeed going to upgrade or complete your collection, you had better do it now. No, I really mean now. In case you haven’t heard, Warner Brothers is taking a page from Disney and “vaulting” all the Harry Potter movies (see article). 
 
What is vaulting? This basically means that Warner Brothers will pull the highest grossing series of films of all time from the shelves. So if your copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is scratched, you’ll have to go to Target and buy one before the 29th of December. In more technical terms, the films will be on moratorium. You’ll not have the chance to buy it where ever movies are sold (not that there are many places left that supply you with a wide selection).
 
I worked in the video store industry for years so I am well acquainted with the moratorium and “vaulting” dilemmas when it comes to Joe Public. Often, I would either have a frustrating conversation or a yelling match (they were yelling, not me) as to why they couldn’t buy the likes of Snow White or 101 Dalmatians for their little loved ones. Please don’t even get me started on The Song of the South. As time went on I started to turn people to this new thing on the Internet called eBay; an auction site where people buy and sell old movies, usually unused. The majority of the time I would lose people on the signing up for an account or the fact that they would have to bid on a title and not just buy it. After a few huffs and puffs I would usually tell them that their next best option was a yard sale. That was the mid to late nineties. Times have changed for Joe Public. Websites such as eBay and Amazon are resources we all use. Today I check not only these sites, but Half.com and even Amazon UK for a film I really want. It doesn’t even matter to me anymore that it might be vaulted or on moratorium. This easily goes for Joe Public as well.
 
I spoke to a Disney rep once that came into my video store, Suncoast Video. I asked him about the “vaulting” process and why they did it, besides money and the big box office re-release. He told me that VHS tapes have a shelf life. That they can only be played so many times and they wear out. I knew of that all too well as my original Star Wars VHS tapes were starting to look pretty shoddy. The other factor I considered was the rewinding and fast forwarding of VHS tapes. These actions also inflicted a lot of wear and tear. I was also just recently reminded of the stubbornness of a video cassette when I had to fix a copy of Spawn of the Slithis.
 
You can probably see where I am going with this. Many of us probably never bought Harry Potter or any of the subsequent films on VHS. In 2001 DVDs were already taking center stage with Joe Public and every one was getting Potter on that format. Today, DVDs are the norm and, though Blu-ray has its benefits, Joe Public likes its DVDs. Unless you are completely careless with your DVDs or your child used it as a Frisbee or coaster, that DVD is probably still in great shape. Amazon, eBay, and other sites are now the go-to place for our movies. A lot of people today also use digital copies for their mobile device supplying a second version of it in the home (plus the DVD/ Blu-ray combo packs). This moratorium and “vaulting” process for Harry Potter seems like a decade or two too late. If anything, Warner Brothers will sell tons of copies to the Video Pirates and eBay Power Sellers and they’ll be the ones really making a profit.
 
I might be asking this question to the wrong community, but does this moratorium/ “vaulting” really effect you Maniacs? If you have upgraded (or felt the need to) you probably have done so already and your last Harry Potter DVD purchase (ever) will be this release.
 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
2. Frankenhooker (Blu-ray)
3. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) [Blu-ray]
4. The Cannonball Run [Blu-ray]
5. Doctor Who: The Sixth Series - Part 2 [Blu-ray]
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
1 in the Gun Starring Steven Man, Robert Davi, Katherine Randolph
13 Starring Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, 50 Cent
 
13 [Blu-ray]
Absence of Malice [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban and Melinda Dillon
 
A Better Tomorrow (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Jin-mo Ju, Seung-heon Song, Kang-woo Kim and Han Sun Jo
 
Born Bad Uncut Starring Michael Welch, Meredith Monroe, Bonnie Dennison
 
Boy Wonder Starring Caleb Steinmeyer and James Russo
 
The Collector [Blu-ray] Starring Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar and John Kohn
 
In My Sleep (Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Philip Winchester, Lacey Chabert, Abigail Spencer
Little Big Man [Blu-ray] Starring Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan, Chief Dan George
 
Mortal Kombat: Legacy [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Jai White, Darren Shahlavi and Johnson Phan
 
One Eyed Jacks [Blu-ray] Starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden
 
Restitution Starring Mena Suvari, Tom Arnold, C. Thomas Howell
 
To Die For [Blu-ray] Starring Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix
 
ANIME
 
Clannad: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
 
Darker Than Black: Season 2 with OVAs (Limited EditionBlu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring John Swasey, Jason Liebrecht and Brina Palencia
 
Dragon Ball Z - Level 1.1 [Blu-ray] Starring Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Sonny Strait,
 
Executive Decision [Blu-ray] Starring Kurt Russell
 
Fist Of The North Star: The TV Series Box 4 Starring Akira Kamiya
 
Initial D: Second and Third Stage S.A.V.E. Starring Joel McDonald, Brina Palencia, Chris Ayres
 
Mushishi: Box Set S.A.V.E. Starring Travis Willingham, Chuck Huber and Jennifer Seaman
Professor Layton and The Eternal Diva
 
Romeo X Juliet: The Complete Tragedy S.A.V.E. Starring Brina Palencia and Chris Burnett
Squid Girl Series Part 2
 
CARTOONS
 
Bolt (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy)
 
Chicken Little (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD)
 
Meet The Robinsons (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD)
 
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Space Adventure
 
Mr. Magoo: The Television Collection, 1960-1977 Starring Jim Backus, Mel Blanc and Jerry Hausner
 
CLASSICS
 
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) [Blu-ray] Starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard and Richard Harris
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
The Cannonball Run [Blu-ray] Starring Roger Moore, Dom Deluise, Burt Reynolds and Dean Martin
 
The Change-Up Starring Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde
 
The Change-Up Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy)
 
The Fisher King [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Amanda Plummer
 
Criterion Collection
 
Fanny and Alexander (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Borje Ahlstedt, Allan Edwall, Ewa Froling and Jarl Kulle
 
HORROR
 
7 Nights of Darkness Starring Allen Kellogg, Larry Nehring, Tom Jr. Sperry,
 
The Carpenter Starring Wings Hauser and Katarina Leigh Waters
 
Crowbar: The Killings Of Wendell Graves Starring Kevin Phillips and Angela Mora
 
Frankenhooker (Blu-ray) Starring James Lorinz, Patty Mullen, Louise Lasser
 
Halloween: H2O/Halloween: Resurrection Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams
 
I Sold My Soul To Satan Starring Kai Blackwood and Jymie Darling
 
In a Glass Cage [Blu-ray] Starring Gunter Meisner and David Sust
In a Glass Cage (2 Disc Special Edition)
Maria's B-Movie Mayhem-Riot on 42nd St / Bad Girls
 
Murder Obsession Starring John Richardson and Stefano Patrizi
 
Puppet Master 5/Puppet Master 6 Starring Gordon Currie, Chandra West, Nicholas Guest
 
Satan's Blood Starring Mariana Karr, Jose Maria Guillen
Scarlet Countess Starring Brick Randall, William Smith, Del Howison
 
The Sacred Starring Lauren Brown, Jordan Wall and John Archer Lundgren
 
Skeleton Key 3: The Organ Trail Starring David Simmons, Jay F. Barber, Chris J. Duncan
 
ThanksKilling Starring Chuck ", Dead Body Guy", Lamb and Wand Lust
 
Zombie 4: After Death [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff Stryker
 
MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
 
Blue Velvet [Blu-ray] Starring Dennis Hopper and Kyle MacLachlan
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 Starring Edi Gathegi and Taylor Schilling
 
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 [Blu-ray]
 
Destroy All Monsters
Destroy All Monsters [Blu-ray]
 
Doctor Who: Colony in Space (Story 58) Starring Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy)
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Movie-Only Edition + UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
 
Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl [Blu-ray] Starring Taylor Lautner
 
TV LAND
 
Bedlam: Season 1 Starring Hugo Speer, Will Young, Sean Maguire and Theo James
 
Doctor Who: The Sixth Series - Part 2 Starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
 
Doctor Who: The Sixth Series - Part 2 [Blu-ray]
 
BOX SETS
 
Band of Brothers / The Pacific (Special Edition Gift Set) [Blu-ray] Starring Joseph Mazzello, Jon Seda, Scott Grimes and Ron Livingston
 
Band of Brothers / The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set
 
Harry Potter: The Complete Collection Years 1-7
 
Harry Potter: The Complete Collection Years 1-7 [Blu-ray]
 
Law & Order: The Complete Series Starring George Dzundza, Chris Noth, Dann Florek
 
Spoils of War Starring Krash Miller, Chad Kodiak, Preston James Hillier
 
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 15
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flinshadytoo 11/8/2011 12:12:39 AM

 The Format I want is Harry Potter 1 the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 on bluray & dvd, of course they aren't releasing it, the only way to get both parts are on the new bluray box set or seperately which is a total sham. Almost everybody who wants these movies will have bought them already and like me will feel slightly peeved that you have to buy the whole lot again just for the final 2 movies, shouldn't they at least give you a discount if you already own a previous box set, as they have released a blu-ray one quite a few times now, how much of our hard earned money do these b***ards want? This is why it's the highest grossing franchise!

ElBaz13 11/8/2011 5:21:09 AM

Rob, you are absolutely bang on for it being a decade too late.

In this day and age of legal and illegal downloads, the people that missed out buying movies before they were vaulted will even skip Ebay and go straight to a "free" download.

Buying off Ebay is a risk. This sort of thing happened to me with Beauty and the Beast Christmas. My kids were heavy into princesses and I could not find it as it was OOP. I bought it twice on Ebay and it said it was "new and sealed". One ended up being a nicely sealed burnt copy and another was one with Chinese subtitles and no features. Needless to say I returend them and resorted to illegal download. Disney lost money. Finally Disney is re-releasing it this month on home video but the kids are out of the Princess phase now.

I still remember 20 years back with the vaulting of Little Mermaid on VHS. My sister was looking for it for her kids and this was before Ebay. Local newspaper ads had people selling it for $150-200.  If you look at Ebay now, the vaulted/OOP Disney movies are a little higher then retail value but will never be in the $150-200 range thanks to video piracy.

tiredjay 11/8/2011 7:09:04 AM

The thing about the Harry Potter movies is that every does have them, and there's a glut of them on the market.  They've been in the bargain bins for ages now, and it's at the point where the market is saturated.  By saying they're putting them in the vault, what they're doing is ceasing production, and coaxing the fence-stters to buy up the overstock while it's still available.  But really, does anybody who wants the movies not have them already?

It's Warners saying that they aren't really making money off the production of these products, and making a big deal out of ceasing that production.

ddiaz28 11/8/2011 7:16:01 AM

I only ever bought 2 of these films because I knew that I would eventually want the entire set.  So I'm definitely going to pick up all 8 films on blu ray before Christmas.  Overall, the vaulting thing is pretty useless.  I do go and buy the Disney films when they are put out, but if I ever missed one, I know I'd be able to buy it somewhere on the internet.

doublec 11/8/2011 10:10:17 AM

Should point out that Deathly Hallows 2 comes out Friday, not today. Still this week.

You'll have to by it at TARGET?!?  OK, pay the extra price just to be a snob....

Used to run a video store during the VHS days myself. We even had the copy of the Little Mermaid with the penis on the cover. Disney keeps trying to say that was an urban legend but not only did I see it I showed it to a number of people. And rewinding hurt tapes but never did more than minor damge to players. The rewinder was for the average person a waste of money .

"Vaulting" works for Disney because they've kept a tight rein on supplies of movies from the start. As has been said here absolutely everyone owns the Potter films o I don't know if this'll help. Although, we all DID go running out for the Star Wars set last month, so...

halfbloodprincess 11/8/2011 10:48:21 AM

Deathly Hallows part 2 does not come out today. If it did I would already have it. It comes out Friday. I plan on getting it at Target. Target also has every single Harry Potter Blu ray for ten bucks each this week. Which is a really good deal.

themovielord 11/8/2011 11:16:58 AM

Sorry guys it does come out Friday. I'm sure if you look someone will have it. ElBaz13, B&B Christmas arrives this month on Blu-ray/ DVD. Check Amazon.

karas1 11/8/2011 12:02:06 PM

I have a copy of The Little Mermaid VHS with the penis on the cover too.  I bought it at a garage sale a while ago.  I still have a LOT of movies on VHS so I still have a VCR though my brother laughs at me.  Replacing all the movies and TV shows I have on tape with DVD, assuming they would all be available, which they wouldn't, would cost probably $1000. 

If Deathly Hallows part II will only be available for 2 months, then perhaps vaulting it wouldn't be a bad strategy.  Sure, it will be available for illegal download but will you be able to get all the cool extras?  It may motivate folks to pick it up now, as opposed to later and hey!  Christmas presents!

Tonebone 11/8/2011 12:06:35 PM

 I don't have any of them yet. So I guess I'm that person they are targeting to get on it before its "vaulted." My plan was to wait for a comprehensive, box set with all the movies available. So the entire collection might be on my early xmas wish list 

Tonebone 11/8/2011 12:11:55 PM

On second thought, its being discussed on Amazon how the Complete Collection is light on additional features. So I have no problem waiting a year or so until a more comprehensive and advanced version is released. I like special features. Gives me something to do in stretching out the experience a little longer. Still have yet to explore every last Lost or BSG special feature to this day

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