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With slightly over a week until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hits theaters, the folks over at Warner Brothers sure aren’t blowing the bank on their ad campaign.

I will admit, I am not a fan of the series or the genre in general, but I hadn’t even heard a peep about the series’ sixth film until I got off of the train today (7/5) and saw a poster. For a movie that was supposed to have been released over six months ago, this is awfully strange.

The production company has oddly chosen to over-hype My Sister’s Keeper and ride the wave of success that The Hangover has created. This is baffling, considering that the film finally has box-office competition amongst fantasy geeks. Transformers II. Megan Fox looks incredible on a bike, and just as good  when shit is blowing up behind her.

Finite Incantatum that, Emma Watson.

I get it, the book sold 11 million copies. People like Harry Potter regardless of its publicity. Still, a television commercial here or there would not hurt ticket sales at all.

Casual viewers seem to have been neglected in the weeks leading up to the release.

Considering the overwhelmingly positive reviews that it has received in publications like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, it is unclear why more trailer commercials and magazine ads are not in circulation.

Steve Cloves, writer of the first four scripts, returned and the project was promising enough to lure back Watson, who originally did not plan on returning for the sixth installment. Warner Brothers does not have anything to hide.

Perhaps this is part of an elaborate mind-fuck drawn up by the WB staff. Probably not.

The ‘hard to get’ act is rarely advised and even more rarely employed when attempting to round up an audience; but could it work in the case of Potter?

I cannot imagine that they would drop the ball on this project. After all, they did release The Dark Night, which has the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time. However, after scrolling down the list in that link, one cannot help but notice that the last film from Hogwarts did not do nearly as well as its predecessors. While The Order of the Phoenix had the highest beginning budget ($150,000,000), it had the lowest opening weekend grossing ($77,108,414) of the series thus far.

It too was arguably under-publicized.

It is unclear as to how much financial issues are playing a major role in this ‘decision.’ Time Warner Inc.’s stock (TMX) is hovering at its lowest level in the last five years, and advertising budgets fell along with several other departments’ fundings.There is a definite correlation.

The company seems to have prioritized its other movies, which is fairly logical if they have been pushed to such a point. However, print publications are also suffering and ad space is not all that expensive anymore– especially on the internet. There are ways to plug the movie (television appearances by actors, etc) and I do not think that WB is using them to the best of its ability.

Maybe the execs have planned a last-week Blitzkrieg on the public. There has got to be some hitch. Everybody is hurting because of the recession.

A little fantasy could be just what the doctors ordered. The public loves escapes. Harry Potter gives them just that. Scrounge up the cash and let us know that the movie is coming out on Tuesday WB. Step it up.

It looks kinda good.

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