TROUBLE CITY

HARRY POTTER AND THE ADVANCED RELEASE

Movie NewsMicah RobinsonComment

Since every summer juggernaut film these days – especially sequels – is swinging for the fences in terms of weekend and revenue records (“OMG! Evan Almighty is on track to have the biggest St. Baptiste Day weekend opening ever!!!!1111!!”), we’re increasingly seeing films moving the traditional Friday release date up to squeeze every last dollar into the opening frame. First, it was Thursday screenings. Then, we got Thursday screenings. It’s just a matter of time before we hear Spider-Man 4 will be coming out on a Tuesday morning in May 2011. Until that fateful day, we’ll continue to see films inch up incrementally for the love of that almighty dollar.

The latest culprit is Warner Bros., having just announced that they’re moving Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix up two days to Wednesday, July 11. Presumably, this is so that black people will go see the movie, talk to the screen, and act up then so that white moviegoers can enjoy it in peace on the weekend. Whoops. Wrong article. What I meant to say is that I presume this is simply to try and make a few bucks before succumbing to the real wide release that weekend, the Liv Tyler/Scott Speedman license to print money known as The Strangers (best pre-order your opening night tickets while you still can, kids). What? No sale?

Truthfully, it’s a fairly transparent ploy for profitability and bragging rights for whatever records they hope to break that week(end). There’s no real downside for Warners other than the fact that Transformers arrives the weekend before and may still be doing gangbusters business during the week. Aside from that, they should enjoy clear sailing for the remainder of July. The remaining weeks are capped by the likes of I Know Who Killed Me, Hairspray, and No Reservations, all of which should be easy pickings in the race for number one.