Harry Potter pushed back to summer 2009

Along with theĀ Prince of Persia movie being pushed back to 2010, it appears that Warner Bros. have decided to push this falls biggest movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince back from November 2008 to July 2009. We get the story from our friends over at The Hollywood Reporter:

“In a surprise move, Warner Bros. has moved the release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” from Nov. 21 to July 17. Warners president Alan Horn blamed last winter’s 100-day WGA strike in large part for the shift, suggesting all the major studios have been hurt in the development of new tentpole films for next summer.

“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,” Horn said. “We agreed the best strategy was to move ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tentpole release for midsummer.”

The move also reflects execs’ belief that the “summer season is an ideal window for a family tentpole release,” he said.”

Wow, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I mean I can understand something like Prince of Persia being put back (since it’s not already a successful franchise) but a film that’s part of such a big franchise as this being shoved back almost 9 months? That is not good news.

Who knows what the real reason for the move is; I am going to go with the stated one of it will make more money that way (probably trying to reach closer to the level of the box-office monster that is The Dark Knight too). I’m sure it has nothing to do with the quality of the movie…or does it? We shall find out when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gets its release on July 17th 2009.