This bit of unfortunate timing is particularly cruel given that Entertainment Weekly and Harry Potter distributor Warner Bros. are both owned by Time Warner Inc. As EW's Jeff Giles writes in a must-read entry on the magazine's blog, "EW and Warner Bros. share a parent company, but they clearly do not share, you know, important friggin' information." (For the record, Cinematical is owned by Weblogs Inc., which is owned by AOL, which is also owned by Time Warner. But if Entertainment Weekly isn't in the loop on major corporate decisions, you can imagine how out of it we are. We're like the distant hillbilly cousins who show up at the family reunion, have no idea who anyone is, and gorge ourselves on pie.)
Considering EW is Time Warner's flagship entertainment magazine, you'd think someone at corporate would have given them a heads-up before their Fall Movie Preview went to press. While the announcement about the date change wasn't made until Thursday, surely the execs at Warners didn't just wake up that morning and say, "Hey, let's move Harry Potter today!" Surely the decision was at least a few days in the making.
On the other hand, it did seem to happen pretty suddenly. Giles points out that Half-Blood Prince's teaser trailer (complete with the November release date) is attached to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in theaters today. If Warners had made the decision in time, they'd have nipped that in the bud, too. So either the decision really wasn't made until yesterday, or else some family members are too good at keeping secrets from one another.