Friday, August 15

Warner Bros. Tries To Conjure Up More Money

As The Dark Knight's stunts cast a spell on audiences, its profits enchanted Warner Bros. execs so much so that they couldn't even wait for their next big summer action movie (Terminator Salvation) to be made—they had to throw a definite out there on the July Imax-blockbuster horizon immediately.

But rather than rush something slated for holiday season '09, Warner has scrambled to rearrange their finished works, taking a high-profile film with an already-announced release date and making crazed viewers wait another year for it. Fans must once again suffer in the knowledge that there will be no Harry Potter 8. Or '08, as the case may be.

The Bros. announced yesterday that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth movie in the series and widely touted for a November 21 release, will be held until July 17, 2009—the exact Friday that The Dark Knight was unleashed this year. Suspiciously enough, the heavily rumored debut of the (incred) HP trailer at July 18 showings of DK never materialized—were the hold-the-movie-hostage wheels already turning at Warner even before the DK numbers came in?

It's sad that the move is so blatant. “The picture is completely, absolutely, 100% on schedule, on time. There were no delays . . . We would have been perfectly able to have it out in November,” said Alan Horn, the company's pres and C.O.O.

Which, in the audience's eyes, makes it that much worse. That and the unfortunate timing of this week's Entertainment Weekly cover story.

I'm not into this throwing out set and promoted release dates thing at all. But while Warner Bros. is cleaning up shop, I wish they'd take a second look at director David Yates. While his previous Potter film, HP5, was the highest-grossing of the franchise, the directing was arguably the weakest. And, as Warner Bros. has told us, it only grossed so much more as a result of its July release. What may have fans more concerned is the elimination of certain characters, namely Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour (particularly strange, as Clémence Poésy has become somewhat of a muse in her native France) who fail to appear on the movie's IMDb page, suggesting that this fool and his screenwriters have significantly diced the story going forward.

SIGN: A petition, if you are not having this, here.

No comments: