The Harry Potter movies are leaving HBO Max later this month and heading to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock in October — though they won’t stay there long.
Vulture reports that all eight films about the boy wizard will remain on Peacock for at least a month before returning to the service again next year as part of a six-month window in which Peacock will have subscription VOD rights to the series.
Many believed that the Harry Potter movies would live forever on HBO Max since they are Warner Bros. titles. However, while HBO Max’s parent company WarnerMedia owns the underlying rights to the franchise, the company leased TV and select streaming rights to NBCUniversal until 2025. Of course, that was long before HBO Max was even an idea in some executive’s head.
Naturally, when HBO Max execs realized the error of their ways, the streaming service cut a deal with NBCU to stream all eight Potter pictures for three months — from the streamer’s launch date up to Aug. 25.
The Harry Potter movies will be available on Peacock intermittently between October and March, with the first window lasting a month. After October, the movies will air on NBCU’s linear broadcast and cable networks before returning to Peacock in early 2021. Basically, Peacock and HBO Max will share custody of the franchise for the next five years, though Peacock’s presentation will feature commercials unless you pay for its ad-free tier.
Peacock’s Frances Manfredi told Vulture that it’s a good thing when studios share content and top titles are allowed to move between streaming services. “We don’t believe that having a stagnant film library that doesn’t change out is the way to go,” said Manfredi, who also revealed that movies like Reservoir Dogs and the Amy Adams rom-com Leap Year have proved particularly popular with Peacock audiences.
I’m not a Harry Potter fan, so I personally don’t care where these movies stream, although I probably should, since I’ll need to watch them if I ever hope to win another major Schmoedown match again. For Collider’s rankings of the Harry Potter films, click here.