In an evil conjuring trick worthy of He Who Must Not Be Named, Warner Bros. have revealed that all the current versions of the Harry Potter DVDs will go out of print on December 29. And yes, that does include Deathly Hallows Part 2, which isn't even out until December 2. Better get in quick if you want your set to match!
What this means in practice is not that all copies will suddenly dry up and be withdrawn and recalled, but that after that date, new copies will no longer be available to order from stockists. So once they're gone from the shelves, that'll be it for a while. It looks to be the same model that Disney uses for its classic titles: releasing them for short periods and then locking them in the vaults again. It also briefly happened to the James Bond films in the run up to Quantum of Solace and the current gold-spined special editions.
Warners haven't made any announcements as to when the Potter franchise might reappear, but it seems likely that the "resting" of the original releases will pave the way for some swanky new versions at some later date. Warners' official statement runs thusly:
"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."