Whoa! Major news, Harry Potter-heads: the much-anticipated Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will no longer be released November 21, 2008. Warner Bros. has pushed the release of the film to July 17, 2009. To find out why, read more.
Warner Bros.'s President and COO, Alan Horn explains in a press release:
Our reasons for shifting Half-Blood Prince to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers' strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films — changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move Half-Blood Prince to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.
Here's what struck me: the July 17 slot is the exact same weekend, one year later, of the release of Dark Knight which obviously proved beneficial for Warner Bros. Still, it's a huge disappointment for HP fans who have been waiting excitedly for the November release of the next movie.
In funnier news, the Fall movie preview edition of Entertainment Weekly (which arrives today) features Daniel Radcliffe on the cover.