Kiss 2008 goodbye, Mr. Potter.
The young wizard will be donning his invisibility cloak and reappearing next summer in time for a July 17 release. Time Warner has good reasons for trading Thanksgiving holiday theater outings for summery escapes from the heat.
The holiday slate was already crowded with kid magnets, and Potter's original Nov. 21 release date was wedged between a pair of computer-animated flicks from DreamWorks Animation
A mid-July debut is also particularly appealing. That's when Time Warner put out The Dark Knight, the Batman action flick that broke box office records last month.
The move will ultimately impact investors as much as it inconveniences impatient Potter fans -- not much, honestly.
For starters, the move is good news for both DreamWorks Animation and Disney. There will be one less blockbuster to battle against over the holidays.
On the cautionary side, Time Warner isn't the only company that may feel the near-term pinch. IMAX
Time Warner, IMAX, and Scholastic will naturally make that up -- and then some, potentially -- next summer. They may even overcome the holiday void. IMAX will simply milk its Madagascar 2: The Imax Experience a little longer. Scholastic will find other books to push.
Time Warner had just better hope that the movie is good enough to be worth the wait. It doesn't want to disappoint Potter fans -- and investors -- who have to give up on the near-term gratification.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has barely skimmed the Potter books, though his wife is caught up and bummed about the release date bump. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for Disney and DreamWorks Animation. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.