Just kidding… Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will not be delayed that much, but to the horror of Harry Potter fans around the world, it was announced today that the movie would indeed be shifted from its November 2008 release date to Summer 2009 – July 17, 2009 to be exact.
Warner Brothers said it moved the film to take full advantage of its box office capabilities by releasing it in the summer, though frankly I’ve always regarded the November releases to be more successful. I can’t back that up with statistics, but according to today’s release, the last Harry Potter movie – which, in my opinion, was by far the worst of the franchise – was the second highest grosser, and it was released in the summer.
Reading between the lines, though, this release date push probably signifies production delays, perhaps from the various strikes and de facto strikes that have ravaged Hollywood over the last year. I can’t imagine that Warner Brothers would simply sit on a finished Harry Potter movie for eight months, as not only would it be denying them hundreds of millions of dollars, but would also be asking for piracy.
As a Harry Potter fan, however, I am hugely disappointed that the movie has been pushed back to 2009, especially since Warner Brothers had just started to whet our appetites with teaser trailers and the like. Word is that the planned November 2010 release of Part One of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has not been affected by this delay.