harry potter streaming

Harry Potter weekends are back, baby. HBO Max has worked its magic and summoned all eight Harry Potter films to stream the day of its Wednesday launch. Warner Media has been trying to buy back the streaming rights to the Harry Potter franchise from Universal, which has owned the exclusive rights to stream the series since 2016, and on the day of the HBO Max launch, was able to accio the Harry Potter films back the company to which they belong.

TV Line reports that HBO Max has added all eight original Harry Potter films to its library, just in time for its anticipated Wednesday launch. Every Harry Potter film from The Sorceror’s Stone to The Deathly Hallows Part II will be available to stream on HBO Max — but bad news for Fantastic Beasts fans (if you exist): the second Fantastic Beasts movie, 2018’s The Crimes of Grindelwald is only available on “HBO Max via the HBO service.”

The Harry Potter films used to be a staple of ABC Family, and then Freeform, reruns, with the Disney-owned cable network playing the magical films in “Harry Potter Weekends” for months straight. But since Freeform lost the rights to air the franchise in 2018, we’ve been bereft of our favorite boy wizard, and typical streaming deal complications kept Harry Potter off the air and off many streaming platforms. The streaming rights to the Harry Potter series have been in question since Universal struck a deal in 2016 to secure the exclusive on-air and digital rights to all Wizarding World films.

Warner Media has been actively trying to buy back those rights for years, in what industry analyst Matthew Ball called a “big, costly, and important move” as the company prepared to launch its new streaming service HBO Max, which would have to compete with streaming giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the intimidating fellow newcomer Disney+, which has all of the Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars films in its arsenal.

WarnerMedia has all the Warner Bros. archive at its disposal, yes, and the coveted (and costly) streaming rights to Friends, but Harry Potter is probably the only franchise that can stand up to Marvel and Star Wars combined. Because of that, HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly told Business Insider that getting the Harry Potter films for HBO Max was a “high on our priority list.” And it seems they were able to pull it off at the last minute.

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