Fans of boy wizard Harry Potter have reacted angrily to news that Warner Bros was delaying the release of the next episode in the movie series from this November to July 2009.
The entertainment giant said Friday it decided to postpone the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to take advantage of a "relative dearth" of major summer releases because of the recent writers' strike.
"There is no production delay or production consideration," said Warner Bros executive Alan Horn. "It feels like we have an opportunity in the summer."
But while the decision may appear to make sound business sense, fans of the series found it hard to justify.
"Words fail me. Well, polite words, anyway," a contributor called Emma commented on the website Firstshowing.com. "I can think of plenty of swear words."
Many other fans were not ashamed to use such language, but others signed an online petition demanding that the film be reinstated to its original November 21 release date. Others vowed to boycott the theatrical release of the movie and wait till it came out on DVD.
But all were skeptical about Horn's comments that "We would never do anything to hurt one of the movies or the series. We love our fans."
"WB, if you really loved me you would give me the film in November," said one contributor to the fan site Mugglenet.com.
"Haha," wrote another. "I read the 'we love our fans' and was like...wow, what a lie."