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Harry Potter franchise will move to Peacock after leaving HBO Max this month

If you’re an HBO Max subscriber planning a Harry Potter movie marathon, you might want to get started soon. All eight films in the blockbuster fantasy franchise are leaving HBO Max and heading to streaming competitor Peacock later this year.

NBCUniversal will make the popular franchise available to stream on Peacock over a six-month period beginning in October and stretching into 2021. Specific details of the rollout weren’t revealed, but the announcement indicates that the entire franchise will indeed be included in Peacock’s free, ad-supported subscription tier for set periods of time over those six months.

Although HBO Max parent company WarnerMedia and its movie studio Warner Bros. Pictures are the official home for the Harry Potter franchise, NBCUniversal struck a deal for the franchise back in 2016 that gave the latter exclusive television and digital rights to the Harry Potter films and the Fantastic Beasts spinoff series. That deal made it unlikely for the Harry Potter films to be available on HBO Max initially, but WarnerMedia later struck a three-month deal to make all eight films available to HBO Max subscribers for the first three months after the service launched.

Collectively, the eight Harry Potter movies are the third highest-grossing film franchise of all time, ranking just after Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchises. The films are based on J.K. Rowling’s series of novels that follow the titular boy wizard as he comes of age while attending a secret school for magically gifted children.

The first film in the franchise was 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and it was followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 2007, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2009, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in 2010, and, finally, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in 2011.

The Harry Potter films’ departure is the latest high-profile exit from HBO Max, which made most of the live-action films based on WarnerMedia’s DC Comics characters available to subscribers at launch, along with the Harry Potter franchise, only to have both collections depleted in subsequent months. Although WarnerMedia initially backtracked on plans to remove most of its DC Comics-related films from the service for set periods, the company doesn’t seem inclined to have HBO Max offer a consistent library of all its big- and small-screen properties in the way that Disney does with Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and other properties on its Disney+ service.

Peacock has similarly had marquee TV and movie franchises disappear from the streaming service in the period following the platform’s problematic launch, leading to some frustration — and confusion — from subscribers. However, there is an established connection between NBCUniversal and the Harry Potter franchise, as the company’s Universal Studios amusement park is the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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