‘Potter’ shift bolsters WB’s ’09 slate

2009 slate includes 'Harry Potter,' 'Terminator'

Warner Bros. may have roughly 25 pics on its schedule to unspool in 2009, but few are the types of films you’d expect from the studio.

Outside of the recently added “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the studio has “Terminator Salvation,” which it’s merely distribbing for Halcyon, which hopes to relaunch the franchise with a new cast.

WB also has potential plans for a live-action version of “The Jetsons” during the summer sesh as a major tentpole that Robert Rodriguez will oversee.

The rest of the year features Zack Snyder’s R-rated adaptation of the iconic comicbook “Watchmen”; Spike Jonze’s long-in-the-works version of “Where the Wild Things Are,” which recently received an influx of additional production dollars for reshoots; and the Seth Rogen comedy “Observe & Report.”

There’s the possibility of a “Get Smart” sequel for later in the year, the San Francisco earthquake pic “1906,” cop drama “SIS,” comicbook property “Jonah Hex” and Guy Ritchie’s take on Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. But none of those has been skedded yet nor has started production.

Initially, no Harry Potter adventure was on the books, because the final installment was going to be split into two pics that will unspool in 2010 and 2011.

Instead, the WB slate relies heavily on New Line product.

It will release seven of New Line’s pics this year, another seven or eight in 2009, and three or four in 2010.

Those include titles like the “Friday the 13th” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” remakes, a fourth “Final Destination,” comedies “17 Again,” “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Inkheart.”

“We had roughly 20 movies that we had to lay out over three years,” Jeff Robinov, prexy of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, says of New Line pics that were folded into Warners’ schedule. “You want to give every movie an opportunity; you want to find the right date and get the best campaign to figure out where you can make the most of the movie.”

With the closure of Warner Independent and Picturehouse, Warner Bros. is also trying to figure out how to handle those companies’ projects.

Not every movie is finding a date or enough screens.

Plans for a limited rollout of Ritchie’s gangster pic “Rocknrolla” have prompted Joel Silver to seek another distributor. WIP’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” helmed by Danny Boyle, is also looking for a new home.

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