Thursday, August 14, 2008

News: Harry Potter 6 Gets Pushed Back

This certainly isn't a news site, so if I discuss a piece of news it's usually because I feel strongly about it. This, well, I don't know how I feel, but I feel strongly about it: the sixth Harry Potter film was moved from Nov 08 to July 09 because Warner Brothers "decided to make the change to bolster its release schedule for the lucrative summer moviegoing season."

I can't say exactly how I feel about this, but it seems odd. The AP article does mention that
HP5 came out in the summer, and outperformed all the others except the first one. While that's a good point, the counter point is Chronicles of Narnia. The first movie came out during the holiday season, and succeeded because it had great word of mouth and was the perfect family movie - not just for grandma and tiny Tim, but also for your disaffected 16 year old who just likes violence and androgynous witches. But in the summer model, where family time is out and the first weekend is all that matters, Prince Caspian underperformed, and its May release date was blamed. It did well, but not like the first one (admittedly, it wasn't as good.).

But much more troubling to me is the fact that they made this decision about such a fan-centric film. If Hancock had been announced and pushed back, no big deal; people ended up going to that movies in droves, but they weren't writing Will Smith/Jason Bateman fan fiction about it. They loved it, but weren't anticipating it with bated breath. This movie, on the other hand, is bound to have Potter fans salivating - the books are done now, so all they can look forward to is the movies. And with a giant fan base foaming at the mouth, I find it bizarre to say to them "Yeah, we have the movie ready, and we told you that you'd get your Potter fix this fall, but we just decided to move it back because our summer movie slate was a little slim. It was a purely financial decision that had everything to do with the writer's strike and our inability to make blockbusters. The movie's done, but you don't get to see it. Sorry. Enjoy the new Twilight book."

I imagine everyone will still on board the Potter fan express, but that doesn't strike me as a nice or wise way to treat your fanbase. When your success is built on satisfying rabid true believers, making them wait for a purely artificial reason doesn't seem like a good idea.


Joseph said...

Agreed. Now if they said it was to improve on the quality of the film, I would have no problem with that. But just to make more (POSSIBLE) $ in the Summer? Whatever.

Evan Derrick said...

Yes, I am pissed off. Yes, lots of other Potter fans are pissed off. But you know what? We're all going to go see it anyways, and Warners knows it. No matter how angry the legions of die hard Potter fans are, every single one of them is going to see the movie no matter when it is released. If they pushed it back 2 years even, all of us would be weeping, but sure enough, we'd be in line for our tickets in 2 years, slightly disgruntled but happy for more Potter magic.

If they can make more money in the summer, it's the perfect move for WB. We're like coke fiends - no matter how long you make us wait, we're still going to fork over the dough for our fix.