Thursday, August 14, 2008

Harry Potter 6 is pushed all the way back to July 2009! Will Warner Bros. have another year with the highest grossing film?

As noted above, Warner Bros. has shockingly decided to move Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince from November 21st, 2008 to July 17th, 2009. Yes, it's the same slot where Warner Bros. scored huge with Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix and The Dark Knight in the last two respective years (same opening day as The Dark Knight). For Warner, this does make complete sense. Partially because of the writer's strike, WB's summer 2009 slate had but a single tent pole: Terminator: Salvation, which is still slotted for next Memorial Day weekend. Now Warner has two bookends. Besides, with summer 2009 seeming like the weakest slate in years (see again - WGA strike), Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince immediately becomes the front runner, along with Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen, for the summer 09 crown (and the crown for the whole year). It ain't gonna be Terminator: Salvation, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek, or Night At The Museum 2. Now, instead of being THE film to beat for the holiday season of 2008, and merely another mega success from Warner Bros, Harry Potter 6 becomes THE film to beat for all of 2009 and gives Warner Bros. the potential to have four consecutive years with the year's highest grossing film (The Dark Knight, Harry Potter 6, then Harry Potter 7.1 and 7.2 and/or the next Batman picture from 2008 to 2011). At the very least, Warner will now have one of the top three films for the next four years guaranteed (especially if they can pull off 'Shadow Of The Bat' or whatever they want to call it by 2011). This stinks for us Muggles, but it's a sound strategy for Warner Bros.

Scott Mendelson

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