In a surprising move, Warner Bros. have announced that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will open on July 17th, 2009, not November 11th, 2008 as previously planned.
Warner’s explanation for this move is that the Summer slot is an ideal for making this a “family tent pole release”. The second reason appears to be the fallout from last years writer’s strike which has delayed many movie scripts. They went on to clarify that this change in release date will have no impact on the production schedule for the remaining Harry Potter films.
I can certainly see the studio’s logic here. Summer is the traditional time for blockbuster movies. However Harry Potter always seemed quite well suited for the holiday season. Fantasy films have generally done well in that slot too.
The thing that really surprises me is the short notice for the change in date. November is only three months away and promotion had already begun for the Half-Blood Prince. I wonder if this late decision has anything to do with the scale of success that The Dark Knight has experienced and the length of time it is playing in theaters?eoghann.com..