Official word is in and Warner Bros. has moved Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from its November 21, 2008 release date to July 17, 2009.
Warner sudio chief Alan Horn said, “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 writersâ€™ strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other filmsâ€”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.”
On the bright side it means it won’t be such a long wait until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One on November 19, 2010.
So far the two Potter films released in summer earned $292,004,738 for Order of the Phoenix and Prisoner of Azkaban brought in $249,541,069. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone made $317,575,550, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets made $261,988,482 and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire made $290,013,036 all in November. The numbers are close enough that it appears it doesn’t matter when a Potter film is released, the numbers are still the same so perhaps it is a move for quality as opposed to greed, which I am sure many fans will assume.