When Warner Bros. announced last Thursday that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince had been pushed back from Nov. 21 to next July, hardcore fans immediately entered the five stages of nerd grief. So far we've worked our way through denial, anger, semi-literate Internet ranting, and conspiracy-theorizing. All that's left is acceptance, where we go ahead and watch the movie when it comes out next summer and forget any of this ever happened.
In the meantime, several myths about the date change have popped up, and we'd like to help separate fact from fiction.
MYTH #1: Half-Blood Prince was moved because WB was scared of Twilight.
According to some people who are fans of the Twilight novel and pre-fans of the Twilight movie, WB got nervous about Harry Potter coming out just three weeks before the teen-vampire chick flick, fearing it would siphon off too much of Harry's audience.
Most observers believe Twilight will indeed be a hit, but come on. The Harry Potter franchise the most lucrative in film history, with a total worldwide box-office gross so far of $4.5 billion. There's no reason for WB to fear any competition, no matter how formidable. Also, most of Harry Potter's income is from overseas, where Twilight, still largely a U.S. phenomenon, cannot hope to compete.
Plus, if Half-Blood Prince came out Nov. 21 and followed the usual pattern, it would have already made most of its projected income by the time Twilight showed up on Dec. 12 anyway. Three weeks is a huge gap in our modern, front-loaded, it's-all-about-opening-weekend movie culture. If there had only been one week between them, then maybe you'd have something.