NBCUniversal struck a deal with Warner Bros. in 2016 to acquire all television and digital rights to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World film franchise. The eight Harry Potter movies had been on HBO Max as part of a temporary arrangement.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
WarnerMedia Entertainment’s subscription-based streaming service HBO Max has featured the eight Harry Potter films on its platform since its launch in late May but time is running out on those who still plan to watch them — unless of course they also have access to Peacock, the new streaming platform from NBCUniversal that debuted in mid-July.
HBO Max announced in July the films would be exit its streaming library, leaving fans of the British-American fantasy films, based upon the popular book series by J.K. Rowling, wondering when and where they’d be streaming next. The massively successful Harry Potter movies, which premiered in theaters worldwide from 2001 to 2011, had been available to HBO Max subscribers for three months due to Warner Bros. inking a short-term contract with NBCUniversal.
NBCUniversal acquired all television and digital rights to Rowling’s Wizarding World film franchise from Warner Bros. in 2016, with the terms of the deal running from July 2018 through April 2025. When details of the up-to-$250 million megadeal were made public, it was reported cable rights would shift from Disney to NBCUniversal and that there would be “exclusive content and events” for Universal’s theme parks, home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions.
The Harry Potter movies will exit HBO Max on Aug. 25 and debut on Peacock in October, according to an announcement from NBCUniversal on Aug. 5. The films will be available for stretches during a six-month window, extending into 2021. Each of the films will be watchable with all Peacock subscriptions, including the service’s free, ad-supported tier.
Frances Manfredi, Peacock’s president of content acquisition and strategy, wrote the following in a statement: "The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by people of all ages and represents the caliber of quality entertainment customers can expect to find on Peacock. We've built a world-class collection of iconic movies and shows, and we will continue to expand the film library with treasured titles from NBCUniversal and beyond that will surprise and delight Peacock customers time and time again."
The eight Harry Potter films are based on seven books of the same name with the final novel split into two films. The movies are: "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 Order of the Phoenix," "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1" and "Part 2."
The films had tremendous financial success, grossing more than $2.6 billion at the domestic box office and $8.6 billion worldwide, according to Forbes magazine. The popularity of Harry Potter also helped spawn a second Wizarding World movie series — Fantastic Beasts. Warner Bros. Pictures released “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in 2016 and followed that with “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in 2018. The two motion pictures are meant to be part of a five-film series.