When HBO Max launched, fans had access to all eight of the films in the Harry Potter movie series in the service’s streaming library. However, the Wizarding World movies were only available for a few months due to a separate deal for the streaming and broadcast rights that was struck back in 2016. But fans looking for a little magic in their streaming services will be happy to hear that the Harry Potter movies are once again coming to HBO Max. But for how long?
HBO Max sent out their list of titles coming to the streaming service in June. Alongside the blockbuster debuts of In the Heights and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. All eight of the Harry Potter films will be back in the streaming library. However, the press release specifically notes that they will be available on the platform starting on June 1 and lasting through June 30. That would seem to imply that they might only be sticking around HBO Max for a month. And these short windows of availability are probably the new normal.
Back in 2016, Disney lost out on the streaming and broadcast rights to the Harry Potter movies after holding them for roughly 15 years. NBCUniversal swept in and offered more money, shifting the movies over to channels like Syfy and USA. So when the streaming wars were heating up. HBO Max wasn’t going to be able to stream one of WarnerMedia’s biggest film franchises. And NBCUniversal was going to reap the benefits of having the movies on their new service Peacock.
But when HBO Max launched, fans were surprised to see all the Harry Potter movies on the streaming service. And that’s because, as NBC News previously explained. The Harry Potter franchise will now be “windowing” between Peacock and HBO Max. There will be periods of the when all the movies are available on each of the streaming services before leaving for a short period of time. We’re not sure exactly how often they’ll be switched back and forth between Peacock and HBO Max. But that’s the new normal, at least until the previous deal with NBCUniversal runs out in 2025.
Honestly, while I understand the appeal of having popular titles like Harry Potter in a streaming library. I’ve never understamdd why it ends up being a big draw. Don’t most fans who want to watch Harry Potter have the movies on digital, Blu-ray or DVD? I suppose there’s the convenience of seeing the movie while you’re scrolling through a library. And just pushing play on a whim. But are these movies really a draw to subscribers when they could just as easily own them?