HBO Max worked a bit of last-minute magic ahead of its Wednesday launch, adding all eight original Harry Potter films to its library — from Sorcerer’s Stone to the Deathly Hallows two-parter.
The second Fantastic Beasts film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, meanwhile is available on “HBO Max via the HBO service.”
Though Warner Bros. produced the young magician octology, Universal back in 2016 inked a deal to secure exclusive rights to the franchise, including on-air and digital dibs on all Wizarding World films (including two Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them flicks). That means that Warner Media had to actively buy back what it once owned, for many a shiny galleon. (As industry analyst Matthew Ball put it on Twitter, it was a “big, costly, and important move” for the newbie streaming service, akin to how Disney+ has made it a mission to accumulate as many Marvel films as possible.)
Just days ago, HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly told Business Insider that rounding up the Potter pics was a “high on our priority list” and that there was “active engagement around that discussion.”
He noted that though Universal could have held firmly onto its rights (which extended through the year 2025) to possibly bolster its own Peacock service, “The marketplace is shifting… and it creates a lot of opportunities for horsetrading.”
In addition to any film fare and some original programming (such as Anna Kendrick’s Love Life anthology), HBO Max is home to all episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars, as well as all of HBO’s programming. It will serves as the streaming home for all new CW dramas produced by Warner Bros., beginning with Batwoman and Katy Keene, plus the upcoming Season 2 of Doom Patrol, which will simultaneously stream on HBO Max and DC Universe.