The studio said Thursday it was postponing the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from this fall to next summer, to capitalize on what Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros., called the "changing … competitive landscape for 2009."
"We know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last 'Harry Potter' film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment," Horn said.
The announcement provoked online protests and petitions against the move and some fans are threatening to boycott Warner Bros. movies, the newspaper said.
More than 12,000 people signed a petition at Petitionspot.com demanding that the movie be returned to this fall holiday schedule. One fan, 25-year-old Patrick Allen, accused the studio in an e-mail to the Times of making the change "for no other reason than to make more money."
"This is ridiculous, and I assure you that the millions of Harry Potter fans who have been looking forward to this release will not stand for it," Allen said. "We don't want to be pacified. We want the movie, as promised, this November."
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