Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Release Date: July 15, 2009
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Movie of the Day for Saturday, April 4, 2009
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Harry & Ron try to divine when the 7th book will be published

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
3/20 Les Winan The first two movies aside, the Potter films have been a credit to movie-making, not just literary adaptations.
9/169 Max Braden This simmered more than boiled. Luna cracks me up - Evanna Lynch will be great in light comedy or as a femme fatale.
11/21 Jason Lee By trying to explore both Voldemort's background and the blossoming romance between Harry and Ginny, the movie really doesn't successfully explore either.
24/82 Kelly Metz Strayed a LOT from the book, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. (Note to Snape: Wash your hair. PLEASE.)

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With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 21, 2007, J.K. Rowling’s epic series of novels came to an end. As the series of seven books wound down, Hollywood diligently started to catch up on the movies before the various cast members start going bald. That’s right. Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger are back for the sixth time and after recent contract negotiations, the original actors who have played them in the first five films – Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson - are locked up to ride this money train to its final stop. Not everyone will be joining them as the sixth title in the franchise includes the shocking death of, well, you know.

For those of you who somehow have not read the sixth Harry Potter novel - statistically speaking, that should be roughly 20% - the filler that was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is largely a thing of the past. That means no more Dolores Umbridge (thank God) and, unfortunately, no more Sirius Black. With the plot no longer dragging, Half-Blood Prince dials up the action. Death Eaters freely roam the land again, causing those who had previously believed Lord Voldemort’s return to be rumor to accept the hard truth. The safety they had enjoyed for over a decade is now a thing of the past. Fear paralyzes the wizards of England, leaving only a few to fight to defend the lifestyle they had been enjoying prior to the events of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry Potter leads this group of defenders, but his mission is much more complex. Professor Dumbledore entrusts him with a mission. The two of them work to unlock the mystery of the Horcruxes, mystical objects used by Lord Voldemort to save aspects of his soul after he lost human form. The two men work to uncover as much as the nefarious wizard’s plans as they can before the inevitable final showdown with him and his followers. Simultaneously, Professor Snape’s storyline is made murkier due to his actions with Bellatrix and her nephew, Draco Malfoy. Snape makes an Unbreakable Vow to the boy, thereby enjoining them until some yet-to-be-determined event is executed. In the end, the Death Dealers trick their way into the sacred ground of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This leads to a climactic showdown at the school’s astronomy tower, and one of the good guys does not survive this clash.

The first four movies in the Harry Potter franchise have earned a jaw-dropping $3.5 billion worldwide, and that total will surpass $4 billion in a matter of months when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is released. They have averaged domestic box office of $280 million, meaning that the normal Harry Potter movie’s financial performance is one of the top 30 performers of all-time. Potter productions comprise four of the top 13 opening weekends ever recorded with a fifth entry a slam dunk in July. From a box office perspective, saying that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be an exceptional performer is like stating that the sun will rise tomorrow…and if it doesn’t, who cares how well a movie opens? (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Main Cast Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Director David Yates
Screenwriter Steven Kloves
Distributor Warner Bros.
Official Site http://www.harrypotter.com/
Screen Count 4,325
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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