Big news today coming out of the Warner Brothers camp, who have just announced that the next Harry Potter flick will no longer hit theatres this year. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was originally slated for release on November 11th, has now been pushed back to July 17th, 2009. The move apparently has nothing to do with a need for reshoots or post-production work; rather, it was a strategic move by the studio who are in desperate need of a summer blockbuster for next year. How lame.
WB prez Alan Horn had this to say: “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.”
I guess they were hoping that the Justice League movie would be ready for next summer, but that obviously didn’t happen. On the flip side, it now leaves the upcoming holiday season looking a lot emptier, with only the new Bond film Quantum of Solace, teen vampire adaptation Twilight and The Day The Earth Stood Still remake standing out as major releases. The weird thing is that they still plan to release Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1 a few months later, on November 19th, 2009. Talk about Harry Potter overload. It sucks that a business decision has to keep the movie away from its fans for another half a year, but I guess that’s Hollywood for you. All I know is that if I was a big Harry Potter fan, I’d be pretty annoyed right now.
Correction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is planned for Nov. 19th, 2010, not 2009. Thanks to Chip Chief for the heads up.