Just three months after the service launched. HBO Max is losing all eight Harry Potter movies.
And just like that, the Harry Potter movies are leaving HBO Max. WarnerMedia’s big streaming service launched in May and, as something of a surprise, all eight of the main entries in the popular franchise were available to subscribers. But that has proved to be a short-lived benefit, at least for the time being. As all of the Wizarding World titles will be departing the service next month. So stream while you can.
HBO Max recently revealed the list of titles that are set to leave the service in August. Among them were The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2. The movies will be available until August 25. It has not yet been made clear at this time if they will be heading to another service. But that is a strong possibility. Especially considering a previous deal that was put in place.
The reason it was so surprising that HBO Max launched with the Harry Potter movies is that Warner Bros. inked a deal with NBCUniversal in 2016 that granted the company TV and digital rights to the series. As it just so happens, NBCUniversal recently launched Peacock, its major streaming service that is meant to compete with the likes of Netflix. Though not confirmed, the movies may end up on Peacock after they leave HBO Max. That would serve as both a major boost to Peacock, as well as a blow to HBO Max. Deals like this were made long before every major media company decided to get into the streaming business for themselves, which has created a host of rights issues.
Created by author J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter has gone on to become one of the most successful franchises in history. The movie adaptations of the original books grossed $7.7 billion at the global box office. They also inspired the Fantastic Beasts spin-off series. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in the works. It appears that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwals will remain on HBO Max, for now at least.
J.K. Rowling, meanwhile, has come under fire in recent works for controversial comments she has made in regards to the trans community. It remains to be seen if that will affect Rowling’s relationship with Warner Bros, as she has been heavily involved in the Fantastic Beasts movies. Rowling has penned or co-written all of the screenplays for the spin-off series thus far.
HBO Max is also the new hub for DC content. To that point, the service angered subscribers when it was revealed that quite a few key titles from the DC universe were set to depart shortly after launch. The company later clarified that a rotating list of DC titles will be cycled in and out. Perhaps that means the Harry Potter movies will return at some point down the line. Those who wish to binge the adventures of Mr. Potter before they magically disappear can do so via the HBO Max streaming app.