Burbank, CA – October 24, 2011 – Harry Potter, the #1 motion picture franchise of all time, will soon disappear from shelves, as Warner Bros. stops shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) as of December 29, 2011 (moratorium does not include digital – Electronic Sell-Through & VOD – or games). The Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment – with $7 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
There’s still not a lot of 3D programming on cable or broadcast to satisfy those first buyers of 3D televisions. But IHS Screen Digest says today that the technology is about to find a real foothold among fans of Blu-ray discs. Some 3.2 million homes this year will have the equipment needed to watch Blu-ray discs in 3D. That a 305% increase over last year. The 3D discs can be played on Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles as well as 3D-enabled Blu-ray players. Hollywood, of course, sees a cash opportunity. Studios will release about 65 titles on 3D Blu-ray this year, IHS says. That total will include 15 from Disney such as Tron, Beauty And The Beast, and The Lion King. As a result, the research firm predicts that US consumers will spend $160.8 million this year on discs that provide 3D images to 3D-enabled TV sets. IHS figures that consumers will buy 5.7 million 3D discs at an average of $28.33 a pop. That contrasts with $28.4 million last year based on 900,000 discs selling for $31.09 apiece. The big reason for the increase is that 3D is catching on with early adopters. IHS adds that 3D discs are catching on in the UK, Germany, and France.
Warner Bros will open its “The Making of Harry Potter” walking tour at Leavesden, England, the production base of the Harry Potter films, in spring next year. The three-hour-long tour will give fans the chance to see sets, costumes, props and effects used in all 8 Harry Potter movies. Tickets go on sale later this year. Potter fans will be able to walk onto sets including headmaster Dumbledore’s office and the 120ft long Great Hall featuring “the tables and benches used in the films”. The studio tour, first announced last November, is part of Warner Bros’ $161M refit of Leavesden, which is set to be one of the largest studio production facilities in Europe when it opens. Warner Bros plans to use the 250,000 sq ft of soundstages to shoot its blockbusters. The studio won’t be ready for Chris Nolan shooting The Dark Knight Rises this year though. Leavesden will also boast the largest back-lot in Europe. Around 1,500 people are employed at Leavesden when production is in full swing. Warner Bros says that it wants to attract outside film and TV productions as well as its own. It remains to be seen whether there’ll be enough demand to fill the 200-acre Hertfordshire site as well as the sprawling Pinewood Shepperton studio complexes.