Harry Potter 6 pushed back to July 09

Half-Blood Prince moved eight months from its original November 08 window.
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The next instalment in the popular Harry Potter film franchise is being delayed until July 17th 2009.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was originally due to hit screens on November 21st and a major licensing drive was being worked on to accompany the release.

The Harry Potter series is already the biggest movie franchise of all time. The final book - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - is being split into two movies, with part one tentatively pencilled in for November 2010.

Alan Horn, president of Warner Bros studio, said: "Our reasons for shifting Half-Blood Prince to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tentpole 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.

"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.

"We agreed the best strategy was to move Half-Blood Prince to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer."

However, the good news for Harry Potter fans is that the gap between Half-Blood Prince and the first part of Deathly Hallows will now be shortened.

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