HBO Max Launches With Harry Potter Film Library

NBCU still has the rights to air the films on its linear channels.

The Harry Potter films have apparated onto HBO Max in time for the service's launch. 

The streaming service, which makes its U.S. debut on Wednesday morning, will now stream all eight films. The spinoff Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will also be available on the service via HBO. 

Harry Potter is one of the most well-known pieces of Warner Bros. IP and grossed more than $2 billion in the U.S. at the box office, but it was not originally slated to be part of the HBO Max launch due to a 4-year-old licensing deal with NBCUniversal. That mega pact gave NBCU both on-air and digital rights through 2025.

WarnerMedia execs have spent the better part of the last two years clawing back streaming rights to its library, including TV classics like Friends. But Harry Potter remained a holdout. Michael Quigley, who oversees WarnerMedia Entertainment content acquisitions, said in January that his team was working to bring Harry Potter to the service. "Those discussions will continue on," he said. "At some point, you can't have our experience without having Harry Potter be a part of it."

A WarnerMedia spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday morning that the company had struck a deal with NBC to stream the franchise. NBCU will continue to air the films on its linear networks. 

The Harry Potter films join an HBO Max library that also includes DC titles like Wonder Woman and Justice League, The Lord of the Rings franchise, Studio Ghibli titles and The Criterion Collection.