Alan Horn, the President of Warner Brothers, has sent out a statement directly to the fans in response to the date change for Half-Blood Prince (your voices are not going unheard!).
It reads as follows:
Many of you have written to me to express your disappointment in our moving â€œHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeâ€ to Summer 2009. Please be assured that we share your love for Harry Potter and would certainly never do anything to hurt any of the films. Over the past 10 years, we have nurtured and protected each film, and the integrity of the books upon which they are based, to the best of our ability. The decision to move â€œHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Princeâ€ was not taken lightly, and was never intended to upset our Harry Potter fans. We know you have built this series into what it is, and we thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support. If I may offer a silver lining: there would have been a two-year gap between â€œHalf-Blood Princeâ€ and the much-anticipated first part of â€œHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,â€ which opens in November 2010. So although we have to wait a little longer for â€œHalf-Blood Prince,â€ the wait from that film until â€œDeathly Hallowsâ€ will be less than 18 months. I am sorry to have disappointed you now, but if you hold on a little longer, I believe it will be worth the wait."
Update: Dan Radcliffe attended the NewYork TimesTalk event last night where he had a few tidbits to share about filming HBP. According to SnitchSeeker, who was on hand at the event, Dan said that "the scenes with Ron are the funniest yet."
He also spoke about "a particular incident on the Half-Blood Prince set, where Rupert had his first kiss with Jessie, and Dan was in the background of the scene laughing and trying to get Rupert to break out from character and laugh as well."