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maryann johanson | takeaway only

trailer break: ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ international teaser trailer

Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…

Wow! Voldemort’s hidden cave is in the Cliffs of Insanity! Dumbledore’s been taking Gandalf lessons!

But I kid the greatest fantasy franchise of the 2000s (after Lord of the Rings. Still, why does Draco Malfoy, all almost-grown-up, suddenly look like a blond Peter Petrelli?

I wonder why Warner Bros. even bothers with trailers for Harry Potter. We know what we’re getting: Quidditch. Ron getting kissed. Voldemort showing up to make a nuisance of himself again. We’ve all read the book. They really are putting the tease in teaser with this one… especially after having put off the film till next summer, when really we should have been getting it any day now. Very mean of them.

And hey, talk about a tease: Why does this brand-new trailer end with an alert that the film is coming “this year”? Surely Warner Bros. hasn’t released the trailer this early if it isn’t going to be shown in theaters till after December 31, 2008… and even if that were true, it would be destined for the Internet anyway, one way or another

Now, I don’t honestly think anything nefarious or sneaky is going on. (Then again, maybe that announcement about pushing the release to Summer 2009 was just a trick of Voldemort’s…) But why doesn’t the official British site for the film — which is the only one reference at the end of this teaser — include the same “message from Alan Horn,” COO of Warner Bros., that the U.S. site does?

Many of you have written to me to express your disappointment in our moving “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to Summer 2009. Please be assured that we share your love for Harry Potter and would certainly never do anything to hurt any of the films. Over the past 10 years, we have nurtured and protected each film, and the integrity of the books upon which they are based, to the best of our ability. The decision to move “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” was not taken lightly, and was never intended to upset our Harry Potter fans. We know you have built this series into what it is, and we thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support. If I may offer a silver lining: there would have been a two-year gap between “Half-Blood Prince” and the much-anticipated first part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” which opens in November 2010. So although we have to wait a little longer for “Half-Blood Prince,” the wait from that film until “Deathly Hallows” will be less than 18 months. I am sorry to have disappointed you now, but if you hold on a little longer, I believe it will be worth the wait.

Alan Horn
President, Chief Operating Officer
Warner Bros.

Is it just that the British fans didn’t make fools out of themselves by threatening not to see the film at all, ever, if they couldn’t see when they wanted to see it? I wonder…

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens in the U.S. and the U.K. — yes, the U.K. too — on July 17, 2009.

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