HBO Max launched Wednesday with hundreds of titles and one big surprise for “Harry Potter” fans: all eight films from the beloved franchise, plus “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” are available for streaming on the WarnerMedia-owned platform.
Yes, you now have the ability to stream the entire Daniel Radcliffe-led franchise based on the beloved J.K. Rowling novel series in one place, including: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and Parts 1 and 2 of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
This development is a big one because, as of yesterday, the “Harry Potter” movies were not among the offerings HBO Max had promoted as part of its Day 1 lineup, and WarnerMedia did not have the streaming rights to the films — but that wasn’t for lack of trying.
In 2016, NBCUniversal acquired the exclusive on-air and digital rights to the Warner Bros-produced “Harry Potter” films — and the then-yet-to-be-released “Fantastic Beasts” movies — as part of a landmark deal that was supposed to run from the summer of 2018 through 2025, and also included franchise rights for use in theme parks.
On Tuesday, HBO Max’s chief content officer, Kevin Reilly, said in an interview with Business Insider that “there is active engagement around that discussion” to secure the streaming rights to the “Harry Potter” films for HBO Max before that far off 2025 mark.
“The marketplace is shifting, with the impact of COVID and different companies launching different services, and it creates a lot of opportunities for horse-trading,” Reilly said, alluding to NBCUniversal’s upcoming nationwide rollout of its own streaming service, Peacock. “We’re seeing that across the board.”
Readers can find a list of all the other titles HBO Max has available at the time of its Wednesday launch here.