Last week Warner Brothers surprised everyone (including Entertainment Weekly magazine) by pushing the release date for the next "Harry Potter" film from this November to next summer. The most recent issue of the magazine had just come out, featuring Daniel Radcliffe on the cover and highlighting the 20 most anticipated films of the fall season. According to a press release sent to the PCR by Alan Horn, President of Warner Brothers, “Our reasons for shifting ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers’ strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films—changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.” What it doesn't say is that not only has "The Dark Knight" made a shit load of money but that the studio intends for it to make more when it's released back in theatres to capitalize on possible Academy Award nominations. This is the same formula Orion Pictures followed when it delayed the release of "Silence of the Lambs" for many months due to the success of "Dances With Wolves."
Taking advantage of the vacated opening date of November 14 is MGM, which has pushed back the release of the next Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," to that date. Originally set to open here on November 7 alongside "Madagascar 2," the film's only competition on the 14th will be "Soul Men," starring the late Bernie Mac.
For those of you who tapped your toes and quietly mouthed the words during "Mamma Mia!" your prayers have been answered. Next week Universal will release "sing along" versions of the film in select theatres, which will include the song lyrics on screen so that the audience can warble away with Meryl, Pierce and company.
Four months ago Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown released wide receiver Chad Henry and made the following statement,
"Chris Henry has forfeited his opportunity to pursue a career with the Bengals. His conduct can no longer be tolerated.
"The Bengals tried for an extended period of time to support Chris and his potentially bright career. We had hoped to guide him toward an appropriate standard of personal responsibility that this community would support and that would allow him to play in the NFL. We acknowledge those fans who had concerns about Chris; at the same time we tried to help a young man.
"But those efforts end today, as we move on with what is best for our team."
This came about after Henry's FIFTH ARREST since joining the team in 2005. Most fans, myself included, praised Brown for putting his teams reputation above dealing with a problem child who was only bringing shame to his team. But of course, to quote the Monkees, "That was then...this is now." This week the team resigned Henry, hoping he will be able to fill the gaps left by injured WRs Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Not only can his conduct BE tolerated, apparently, but a few touchdowns will put him on the straight and narrow. Good luck spinning the PR next time he gets another DUI or is banned from another restaurant FOR FIVE YEARS because of his behavior.
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME
Let's say you and your buddy are out riding around when he pulls into the local Quik Trip, says "be right back" and heads into the store. Let's say that for some reason your buddy decided to not only rob the store but shoot the clerk behind the counter to death. If you had no knowledge of what he was planning what's the worse that could happen to you? Well, if you happen to be in Texas, you head off to the death chamber with your buddy. Such is the case of Jeff Wood, a mentally challanged man who was found guilty after two competency trials. Scheduled to die this past week, Wood was given a stay of execution while the Texas Supreme Court looks the case over again. Good luck, pal!
4 BANANA, 3 BANANA, 2 BANANA ONE!
Making their way back to our televisions this fall: the furry faces of Fleegle, Drooper, Bingo and Snorky - The Banana Splits. They will begin appearing in comedy skits and videos on the Cartoon Network beginning September 2. Welcome back, guys!
LeRoi Moore, founding member and sax player for the Dave Matthews Band, passed away Tuesday from injuries he sustained in an ATV accident back in June. He was 46.
Buddy Harmon, the first drummer for the Grand Ole Opry and recognized as country music's greatest drummer, passed away on Thursday from congenitive heart failure. He was 79. In his career, Harmon played on more then 18,000 recordings. Among the better known songs featuring classic Harmon: "Ring of Fire," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "Crazy" and "Oh, Pretty Woman."
AND THE OSCAR FOR 1980 SHOULD HAVE GONE TO...