Half-Blood Prince Release Now July 2009

No, really. You heard that correctly. Half-Blood Prince will now release July 17, 2009. According to a press release issued by Warner Bros.:

In making the announcement, Mr. Horn stated, “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. Additionally, 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.”

You can read the rest of the particulars of the press release by clicking on the read more link below. Of course, this announcement has a lot of Harry fans in an uproar…

Jeff Robinov, President of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, confirmed, “The release date change does not alter the production schedule for this or future Harry Potter films. Post-production on Half-Blood Prince was completed on time, and the studio’s release plans for the two-part Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will not be affected by this change. We know Harry Potter fans are eagerly anticipating seeing the final chapters unfold onscreen. In fact, the good news for them is that the gap will now be shortened between Half-Blood Prince and the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

Commenting on the release date change for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, David Heyman, the producer of all the Harry Potter films, offered, “When Jeff Robinov explained the rationale behind moving the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to July 2009, it was immediately apparent that this offered us the potential to reach the widest possible audience. I am extremely proud of this latest film and of the work of David Yates and our incomparable cast; I believe we have developed and pushed the series further still. We are all looking forward to sharing it with Harry Potter fans around the world, even if we have to wait just a bit longer.”

David Yates, the director of both Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and who will also helm Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, added, “It has been a joy to work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Dan, Rupert and Emma and all our returning young cast continue to blossom, and our new cast members bring fresh color and life to Hogwarts. Even as we put the finishing touches on this latest film, we are already beginning preparations on the final two films-we start filming in February-and I am excited to bring this remarkable series to the exciting and moving conclusion its loyal fans deserve.”

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