Potter fans forced to wait an extra eight months for their next fix

Warner Brothers announced yesterday that the sixth movie in the Harry Potter franchise, "Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince" was moving from it’s planned release date this November 21st to next summer . It is now scheduled for release on July17, 2009.

Warner Bros. president Alan Horn said this when announcing the change:

"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. 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."

So like Star Trek fans before them, Harry Potter fans are getting screwed by the studios. But it will shorten the wait between this latest installment, and the two part final installment, "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows", which will be released in December 2010 and Summer 2011. Horn said their release dates would NOT be affected by the change.

Personally, unlike moving Star Trek, which I continue to maintain was a BAD move (movies opening on the weekend Trek has moved to next year – the second weekend in May – have traditionally done far less business than expected – witness the unexpected and unfair bellyflop of Speed Racer on that same weekend this year), moving HP is probably a good idea. By positioning it in mid-summer, following the blockbuster releases which usually hit theaters in May and June, it could be setting the stage for a HUGE take at the box office, if this year’s mid-July entry, The Dark Knight, is any example.

Here’s hoping the Potterheads out there won’t be screaming TOO loudly…(Stacy, are you listening?)