New Release Dates for Bolt, Potter

Disney’s upcoming CG-animated family flick, Bolt, will hit the screen sooner than anticipated, while Warner Bros. will leave Harry Potter fans waiting a bit longer for the next magical adventure. Daily Variety reports that Bolt is getting bumped up a week from Nov. 26 to Nov. 21, filling a spot vacated by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which moves to July 7, 2009. In its new window, Potter provides some unexpected competition for Land of the Lost, which may end up shifting as well to avoid Potter fever.

Directed by Chris Williams and Byron Howard, Bolt tells the story of a canine TV star (voiced by John Travolta) that is inadvertently shipped from Hollywood to New York City. During his cross-country journey home to his owner, Penny (Miley Cyrus), he makes the surprising discovery that his TV super powers don’t work in the real world. He his joined in his adventure by a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (Susie Essman) and a TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino.

Pushing Potter back gives Warner Bros. a more robust summer slate, which included few heavy hitters due to the writer’s strike. Terminator Salvation starring Christian Bale promises to revive the franchise, but the studio apparently has less confidence in fellow summer releases Shorts from Robert Rodriguez Shorts and Final Destination 4 3-D.

The Harry Potter franchise began as a Holiday event, but has also proven to be potent during the summer. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix opened last July and grossed roughly $938 million worldwide. The last book in author J.K. Rowling’s saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will divided into two parts on the big screen. The first part will premiere in 2010 and second in the summer 2011.