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Release for 6th 'Potter' movie postponed

The three young stars of the "Harry Potter" films Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson (L-R) hold their magic wands during a hand and foot print ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on July 9, 2007. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth film in the series, will be released worldwide this week. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen)..
The three young stars of the "Harry Potter" films Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson (L-R) hold their magic wands during a hand and foot print ceremony in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on July 9, 2007. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," the fifth film in the series, will be released worldwide this week. (UPI Photo/Jim Ruymen).. | License Photo

BURBANK, Calif., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Hollywood's Warner Bros. Pictures says it has postponed the release date of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from this fall to next summer.

The sixth installment of the "Harry Potter" film franchise is now scheduled to open day-and-date domestically and in the major international markets July 17, 2009.

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The announcement was made Thursday by Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros.

"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. "Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers' strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films -- changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of."

Jeff Robinov, president of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, said the new release date won't change the production schedule for this or future "Harry Potter" films.

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"Post-production on 'Half-Blood Prince' was completed on time, and the studio's release plans for the two-part 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' will not be affected by this change," Robinov added. "The gap will now be shortened between 'Half-Blood Prince' and the first part of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.'"

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