In case you don't know what I'm talking about, it's Warner Brothers' decision to kick the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" back from November 21st, 2008 to July 17th, 2009. What is the deal here? According to Alan Horn, Chief Executive Douche over at the WB, the writer's strike delayed several "tentpole" projects that were due for a summer '09 release. This opened up a window (I guess) for finished money-makers (ie: Harry Potter) to move into open summer blockbuster slots. Also, if you'll recall, "The Dark Knight" (honing in on $500 million after just four weeks), was released on July 18th (ring a bell?). Warner Brothers has suggested that this weekend is, perhaps, one of much enchantment (???), that Heath Ledger's tragic, untimely death had nothing to do with the influx of curious movie-goers (while they continue to bid for his posthumous Oscar in an effort to get more butts in the seats--shitty, shitty, shitty), and that HP6 will rake in similar numbers based simply upon a bit of mid-July magic. And I mean, call me a pissed-off fangirl with a raging love in her heart: but I don't think so.
According to a recent article at wenn.com, Steve Kloves, screenwriter for all the HP movies (sans "Order of the Phoenix"), is already fearing for the success of the franchise. "I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "I do have some concern that because the books are over, the anticipation won't be the same. It would be a complete car crash if no one showed up." Ahem...car crash? When I first read this article, I thought that Steve was, possibly, quite insane. People not showing up for a Harry Potter movie? However, I didn't know what I know now, and I assume that he was well aware of the WB's latest debacle. Could it flop? I, personally, plan to boycott the film for at least two weeks. My friends and I talked about boycotting one day for every month the film was delayed; however, this hardly seems enough. And yeah, I'm only one person. We're only six people. But are we alone? I know we all love Harry Potter, and we're all super excited to go see it, but I feel as if a line has been drawn. You simply do not f*ck with an institution like Harry Potter. You just don't. We may be huge nerds, but we're not stupid. We're dedicated, and you just don't f*ck with this kind of dedication. Because, first and foremost, the dedication is to the books, the characters, and J.K. Rowling. The fifth movie stunk, so to delay the sixth is a tragic mistake. I am already wary about the Half-Blood Prince, since they kept David Yates around, and now, I'm downright discouraged. The decision seems very shortsighted. To delay it eight months? With three movies to go? Come on.
By the time the second Deathly Hallows movie is released, the majority of its fan base will be in college, dedicating real time to real, personal endeavors. Will they care anymore? Who knows? With Kloves already concerned for the franchise's popularity (and three movies to go, the closest of which a year away), who's to say that they will? Not to mention the fact that the maturity level of the films is bound to increase (steering away younger viewers and whole families), to mirror that of the books. And I hate to bring it up, but how much of that fan base (especially little girls...aka: solid gold) has already moved on, ready and willing, to another upcoming franchise?
The "Twilight" saga--Which has already begun its reign. The moment the WB shot HP6 into 2009, Summit took advantage. "Twilight," the first of four possible movies about a teenaged girl in love with a vampire, will now be released on November 21st, 2008 instead of it's original bid for December 12th. Perhaps the WB isn't worried about "Twilight," but I wonder. With its up-and-comers Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson (who automatically draws a swarm of HP followers due to his 2005 stint as Cedric Diggory), a revered director like Catherine Hardwicke ("Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown"), not to mention a screenwriter who pioneered the likes of oh...idk...Showtime's "Dexter," the movie is bound to be good. Will it overshadow Harry Potter? Probably not. Well, not right away. By the time HP6 comes out, however, maneuverings for the Twilight sequel "New Moon" will, most likely, be in full swing, and where will the fangirls be then? Probably in front of YouTube, watching backstage interviews with Robert Pattinson, not at their fourth showing of HP6. And call me a blasphemer, but for the sake of the Harry Potter institution, I hope that's what happens.
Anyway, as for my INCREDIBLE beef with Warner Brothers (yes, incredible beef)...this latest Harry Potter stunt is simply the icing on the cake for many of us. If you'll recall a comment made, not too long ago (somewhere around the release of "Sex and the City") by WB production president Jeff Robinov...something along the lines of...Warner Brothers will no longer make movies with women cast as the main lead. Yeah. You can read the LA Weekly article here. It's some good reading. Anyway, this is another reason I'm super excited for "Twilight." It's a story with a female protagonist. The writer and director are both women. And it's going to do so well.
So suck that, Warner Brothers. With all the love of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger and Hagrid and Dobby and Severus Snape in my heart, I politely disagree.