'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' exits 2008 Oscars derby, but was it ever in?
Regardless of why Warner Bros. bumped "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" from this fall to next summer, the shift takes this special effects-laden film out of this year's award derby. While you might think that this blockbuster flick would be a major player in the technical categories, it turns out the first five films of the franchise, though boffo in ticket sales, have been busts at the Academy Awards. Try as he might, Harry Potter can't work his magic on Oscar voters, conjuring up six nominations so far but cursed with zero wins.
The first wizard film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001), did the best of the lot to date with three nominations: art direction, costumes and music score. It lost to, respectively, "Moulin Rouge!" "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."
Nos. 2 and 5 — "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) — weren't nominated for anything! Third time was no charm either as "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) lost its bids for music score and visual effects to "Finding Neverland" and "Spider-Man 2." respectively. For film No. 4 — "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) — its lone nod for art direction lost out to "Memoirs of a Geisha."
As for the reason for the release date change: Defamer.com disagrees with a Fox News report by Roger Friedman that Warners made the move because of star Daniel Radcliffe's upcoming Broadway appearance in a controversial production of "Equus." While Defamer correctly points out that Radcliffe was stripping off in the London production of the play last year when the release of "Phoenix" rose up, Friedman is right that the rialto run this fall will attract even more attention.