All eight movies from the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise will be available for streaming on HBO Max, the streaming service that launched in the U.S on Wednesday.
Released between 2001 and 2011, the films based on J.K. Rowling’s magical series of books collectively grossed $7.7 billion for Warner Bros. Like other Warner titles, they had premium cable releases on HBO and in 2018 became available via the HBO Go and HBO Now streaming apps. (Go is for pay-TV subscribers to HBO and Now is a stand-alone version of HBO.) Digitally, they were available for rental and purchase but not via subscription streaming through a single outlet for non-HBO subscribers.
As was the case when Disney secured the Star Wars feature lineup for Disney+, WarnerMedia wanted to avoid any perception issue by herding all of the films into the HBO Max pen.
NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. had reached a multi-year deal in 2016 for the Harry Potter films to air on NBCU cable networks. That agreement with NBCU, which took effect in 2018 and replaced a prior pact with Disney, also included franchise rights for use in theme parks.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a spinoff of the Harry Potter films, will also be available on HBO Max.
When NBCU began touting its new Peacock streaming service to investors in January, it was widely believed that the Harry Potter films could be an anchor tenant on Peacock.
HBO Max went live just past midnight on Wednesday, with 10,000 hours of film and TV programming, including original shows and library titles. It is available free for many current HBO subscribers and for $15 a month to new customers. WarnerMedia projects HBO Max, which is the last of a handful of well-funded newly launched streaming entrants looking to make up ground against Netflix, will reach 75 million to 90 million global subscribers by 2025.
HBO Max’s film lineup will also feature Crazy Rich Asians, A Star is Born, Aquaman, Joker, the Alien franchise, the American Pie series, Anastasia, Babe, Die Hard, The Flintstones, In Bruges, The Indian in the Cupboard, Jaws, Moulin Rouge! and Teen Witch. Also available are the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, classics like Gone with the Wind, Casablanca and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The full DC slate, stretching back to Superman in 1978, will come onto HBO during its first year of operation.