As a children's and young adult literature junkie, I've enjoyed following Harry Potter. The series has sold about 400 million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Yes, I was one of the sillies waiting at the store until midnight for book seven's release (incidentally, that's the same night we found out we were pregnant with Brighton). During our last two visits to the movie theater, we were already seeing trailers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We excitedly booked our babysitter for November 21st because we understood that would be opening night. And boy did November seem to be a long way away.
However, did you hear that November is no longer the date? Warner Bros. decided to make a last minute change and opening night has been moved from November 2008 to July 17, 2009!!! Why? From what I've gathered, it's because summer movies do much better at the box office than November movies. President Alan Horn explains:
"We know the summer season is an ideal window for a family ... 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."
Needless to say, millions of fans are totally bummed. Warner also went on to say:
“[L]ike 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.”
An exec from a rival studio says:
“Turning a battleship that big isn’t easy. You’re not talking just about the movie, but all the merchandising, the toys and stuff. It’s huge. And it has a domino effect across the rest of the summer slate.”
Oh, and I almost forgot the funny part. Entertainment Weekly just released their new fall preview issue -- Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is on the FRONT COVER. Although EW and Warner Bros. are under the same parent company, there was a mix-up in communicating the change.
***permission to use the above image granted by Warner Bros. 8-19-08***
View the latest theatrical preview below:
More reading on the date change: