Citing after effects of the writers strike as one of the reasons, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. has announced that the studio has pushed back the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from November 21, 2008 to July 17, 2009.
“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.”
Walt Disney Pictures’ Bolt was the first film to take advantage of the delay, moving the animated film up five days from November 26th to November 21st. Summit Pictures was quick to follow, deciding to move its heavily hyped vampire drama Twlight from December 12th to November 21st.
You’ll find the press releases from Warner Bros. and Summit Entertainment, respectively after the jump, as well as some new photos from Harry Potter 6 after the jump.
Warner Bros. Press Release
Summit Entertainment Press Release
Photos (click to enlarge)
Sources: Blogwarts (Photos), Warner Bros. and Summit Entertainment