Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Harry Potter Delayed?

August 15, 2008 News

Okay, non-anime topic time. Hey, Japan loves the four-eyed wizard boy too.

Now and again, I like to keep up with news in the Potterverse. I could get into a detailed ramble thousands of words long about exactly what I think of the series, but I’ll spare us both the trouble. Suffice to say that I’m a fan of the books. Despite my best efforts, I’m rather purist about it all and so most of the movies don’t sit well with me, but I’ve really come to love to hating them. (Oh, man, making fun of the Order of the Phoenix movie was great.) As such, I was kind of looking forward to the 6th movie’s release in November and was very surprised to find today, quite by accident, that it’s been pushed back eight months to July 2009. And why? Not because they’re not finished with it. They’re done. It’s just…they want a summer blockbuster instead of a winter-release film. …Wait, What? :|

Seriously, where’s the logic in this? The summer season is one of the hardest environments to succeed in, even for a big blockbuster like Harry Potter. Three of the previous movies (the first, the second, and the fourth) have released in November and almost all of them had great opening and a fantastic box office life. November isn’t a big competition month. Really, aside from maybe the Madagascar sequel, what movie coming out November 2008 could possibly wrestle with Harry Potter? Especially the Harry Potter in which ***** kills **********?? Meanwhile, in June/July 2009, the movie will have to fight with both Transformers 2 and a new Ice Age movie. And any other movies that get announced between now and then. I get the feeling that the new Transformers will definitely give Potter a good fight.

Really, I’m more puzzled about this decision than anything else. I know I’m going to tear the movie apart no matter when it releases, so I guess it doesn’t really matter to me, but I’m sure scores of other Potterheads are royally pissed about this. The only reason you can give for pushing a finished movie back eight months is that you want it to be a summer release instead of a winter release? Come on.

Edit, later: CNBC elaborates (on the news, no online link for this) that the Writers’ Strike left WB with a gaping hole in next year’s summer line-up and concludes that the company probably pushed the movie back so that they would have a better chance of meeting next year’s earnings estimates. This year’s earnings don’t really need the boost since The Dark Knight continues to do supremely well in the box office a month after its release and is well on track to overtaking Star Wars as the movie with the second highest domestic gross ever. This makes a lot more sense, I guess, but the Potterheads will still be pissed.

On another note, I just found out that they’ve decided to split the final book into two movies. This is particularly interesting to me because page-wise, Deathly Hallows is much shorter than the two books before it. I suppose it makes sense that all the loose ends are better wrapped up in five hours rather than two and a half, but I don’t necessarily think the seventh book has more material than any of its predecessors. Considering we’ve actually managed to retain a director for the last three books’ movies, I’m kind of surprised a two-part movie hasn’t occured already. But the Order of the Phoenix movie was horrible — I hated it more than I hated the movie for the Prisoner of Azkaban, which suffered the most in my purist ways since that book was my favorite. How good the Half-Blood Prince is won’t be known for almost another year, so what can be expected from these final installments?

How and where are they going to make the split? I’m all for two-part movies, but the divide needs to make sense. The first of the two movies still needs to have a logical and definite conclusion. Is there really such a half-way point in the final book? After they discover what the Deathly Hallows are perhaps? I’m skeptical. Despite the fact that I would have loved to see a two-part Harry Potter movie earlier, I have plenty of doubts as to whether or not it can be done right. I guess we’ll see. Tentative date for the first Deathly Hallows movie is November 2010.

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