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IMAX Takes a Hit for Half-Blood Prince Two-Week Delay

Investors, noting that HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE will not open in IMAX screens until two weeks after the film's July 14 bow, dropped shares in the company, which ended Monday down 4 percent (per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER).

HALF-BLOOD PRINCE will open on two IMAX screens (in New York and Los Angeles) day in date, but won't be released wide on the large format until July 29. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN has a dedicated month-long window in IMAX, which didn't change when Warner Bros. moved Harry to July from its original November 2008 opening.

Analysts worried on Monday that the delay would "negatively impact IMAX box office results," but as the film contains 12 minutes of 3-D footage only to be screened in IMAX, that should help cushion the blow.

"There will obviously be some consumers that choose to wait for the Imax version with its 3-D scenes or will choose to see it for a second time, but we do not believe this will be enough to offset the negative impact from the move," said Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Eric Wold.

-- By News Editor Annemarie Moody

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