Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is an upcoming 2009 fantasy–adventure film, based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth film in the popular Harry Potter films series. It is directed by David Yates, the director of the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. David Heyman and David Barron are producing the film, and Steve Kloves, screenwriter of the first four films (but not the fifth), has returned as screenwriter for this film. Filming began on 24 September 2007, and the film was originally planned for a UK and U.S. release on 21 November 2008, but on 14 August 2008, it was announced that the release date for the film was to be delayed to 17 July 2009. Like the previous film, the sixth film will be simultaneously released in regular cinemas and IMAX 3-D.
The film is scheduled for release in the United Kingdom and the United States on 17 July 2009 and Australia on 15 July 2009. It was originally set to be released on 21 November 2008 and 11 December 2008, but was pushed back by eight and seven months, despite being completed. Warner Bros. executive Alan Horn noted that the move went ahead “to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009,” with other films being delayed due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The box-office success of summer WB films Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and The Dark Knight also motivated the decision. An unnamed “rival” studio executive told Entertainment Weekly that the move was to “stop next year’s profits from looking seriously underwhelming after the phenomenal success of The Dark Knight,” as “they don’t need the money this year anymore.” Dan Fellman, WB head of distribution, said that the studio had considered the date change for three to four weeks prior to the announcement, but gave it serious consideration a week before they came to their final decision.
The date change was met with a heavily negative reaction by Harry Potter fans, as the Los Angeles Times noted: “Petitions were circulating, rumors were flying and angry screeds were being posted on Internet sites within minutes of the Thursday announcement.” The move was mocked by Entertainment Weekly who had Half-Blood Prince on the cover on their “Fall Preview Issue”. Despite each being owned by Time Warner Inc., EW were unaware of the change until it was publicly announced by WB and noted that readers would now be in possession of a “Dewey Beats Truman collectible”. Several days after the announcement, Horn released a statement in response to the “large amount of disappointment” expressed by fans of the series. Following the date change, Half-Blood Prince’s release slot was taken by Summit Entertainment’s Twilight.
Like the previous film, the sixth film will be simultaneously released in regular cinemas and IMAX 3-D. The film had been chosen to be screened at the 2008 Royal Film Performance on 17 November, but was not. Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund chief executive Peter Hore noted he was “very disappointed” with Warner Bros’ decision.
The film was rated PG in the U.S. for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality by the MPAA. The UK trailers have mostly been rated 12A by the BBFC: yet there is no official film certificate. 
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