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All of the "news" about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince having its IMAX debut delayed by two weeks just smells like bullshit. Many, many months ago, IMAX signed a deal with Paramount to run Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on their screens for four straight weeks, sidestepping the problems faced by movies like Star Trek, which lost its IMAX berth after just two weeks when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian took over.

That was all fine last summer, when Harry Potter was scheduled for a November release. But when Warner Bros. pushed back the release, they scheduled Harry for July 15, which is smack dab in the middle of the Transformers exclusive arrangement. So now anyone who wants to catch Half-Blood Prince on the giant IMAX screen will have to wait until July 29. Unless you're in New York or L.A., according to THR, but still-- work with the populist outrage here!

IMAX's stock dropped yesterday after this announcement, even though the news should have been obvious to anyone with knowledge of IMAX's deal with Paramount. And now everyone is pissed, from stockholders to Warner Bros. to manic Potter-philes, who have been promised for months "exclusive 3D footage" that can only be seen on IMAX screens. Warner Bros. is now faced with a large fanbase that would be happy to shell out the extra $5 on the ever-important opening weekend, but will be completely unable to do so.

It's all just stupid, because IMAX could have worked this out months ago and made it less of a "shock" that impacted their stock prices. Hopefully someone over there is getting chewed out today-- I know that would at least make me feel better.

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