LOS ANGELES - Harry Potter and his school chums are heading back to class a little sooner than expected.

Warner Bros. distribution boss Dan Fellman says "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" is opening Wednesday, July 15, two days earlier than its previous release date.

That gives the movie a head-start on the weekend during what's shaping up as a highly competitive summer season for Hollywood.

It's the second date change for the sixth instalment in the adventures of the boy wizard.

"Half-Blood Prince" had been scheduled for release last fall, until the studio bumped it to this July to take advantage of an open weekend in Hollywood's busy summer season.

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