Greedy studio delays 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'; Alan Horn awaiting owls

(Credit: Urbanite)

Warner Bros. executive Alan Horn says 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' will be delayed until July 17, 2009. Photo above, from"Harry Potter and the

Order of the Phoenix", is AP Photo/Warner Bros.

It's rare for a big corporation to come right out and admit they're willing to anger their customers so that they can make more money.

Well, Warner Brothers just announced that the eagerly-awaited 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'--which is pretty much finished--will no longer be released November 21.

Instead, they're going to delay it until July 17, 2009.

Outraged fans are gathering at fan sites like Mugglenet.com, which put up the full press release that includes this fascinating section:

The announcement was made by Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.

In making the announcement, Mr. Horn stated, “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.”

It's clear Horn's audience is Wall Street, where analysts are going to applaud things like 'family tent pole release' and 'competitive landscape'.

Rather than Potter fans who have been counting the days until autumn.

In plain English, Horn is saying because films released in summer generally make more money, and because the writer's strike means the current crop of summer 2009 films is weak and few in number, we're going to take a film that will make a ton of money in November and move it to July so it can make a ton of money plus even more money.

Hmmm.... I wonder what the Potter fans Horn is counting on fleecing, suddenly facing an additional 8 months of waiting, are going to do with all that time?

I think Warner Brothers should prepare themselves for a ton of Howlers.

Since there isn't going to be a Potter film anytime soon, take a trip down memory lane (you won't believe how young Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson look in some of the photos).

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

* Photos: Harry Potter stars through the years

* Photos: Harry Potter Walk of Fame

* Photos: Harry Potter and the Muggles of Doom

* Photos: J.K. Rowling at work and play

* 41 photos of Rupert Grint, at work and play

And how many times can you watch this trailer between now and next July?!

Tags: entertainment

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