'Harry Potter 6' Release Delayed Till 2009
'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' opens July 17, 2009
The release date for " Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" has been moved back to Summer 2009, Warner Bros. Pictures announced Thursday.
So instead of packing theaters on Nov. 21, fans of the boy wizard will have to wait till July 17, 2009 for the sixth edition of the popular franchise adapted from the children's book series by J.K. Rowling.
"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," says Alan Horn, the studio's president and COO.
"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."
The production schedule will not change, however, for the final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which will be split and released in two parts. The film series stars Daniel Radcliffe as the titular hero, while Rupert Grint and Emma Watson portray his best friends and fellow Hogwarts students Ron and Hermione.
"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," says David Yates, who directed the fifth movie "Order of the Phoenix" and is handling the remaining films. "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."