‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ hitting theaters in the summer

Fans wanting to see the new Harry Potter flick this fall will have to wait a little longer. Warner Bros. has shifted “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to a July 17, 2009, release putting the boy wizard against Universal’s adaptation of “Land of the Lost” with Will Ferrell.

Variety reports the film was originally supposed to be released on Nov. 21, and the vacancy has left the weekend open for Disney to bump its animated feature “Bolt” to the date.

The ‘Potter’ move was seen as Warner Bros. looking for a way to flex its summer muscle – which at this point is considered light. The lack of big-budget blockbusters for the summer is being blamed on the writers strike which kept films from being developed in time for a 2009 summer release.

In Variety, prexy and chief operating officer of Warner Bros Alan Horn stated: “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.”

Daniel Radcliffe is scheduled to appear in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly’s fall movie preview – even though the film will now not hit theaters in time.

Warner Bros. only other big gun for the summer was to be “Terminator Salvation” – which the studio is handling distribution on for Halcyon. WB’s other summer films include the Todd Phillips comedy “Hangover,” Robert Rodriguez’s “Shorts” and the latest film in the “Final Destination” horror franchise.

The new “Potter” flick is scheduled to open day-and-date internationally, and is expected to be another blockbuster for the franchise. The last installment, “Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix” brought in $938 million worldwide its 2007 summer run.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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