The original Harry Potter movies will hop aboard a broom to fly from HBO Max later this month. Yes, all eight of the classic fantasy adventure films starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint will no longer be found on the best streaming service on August 31.
That's the bad news (h/t to our sister site GamesRadar (opens in new tab)). The good news, however, is that the films are already on their new home — and that new home is cheaper than HBO Max. So, while some HBO Max subscribers may feel like they're getting less for their $10 (for ad-supported HBO Max) to $15 (ad-free HBO Max) monthly payment, they can still see those movies for even less on Peacock.
Unfortunately, those who want to watch the Harry Potter movies in order will need the $5 per month Peacock Premium tier, so you can't watch them on Peacock's free tier. If you want to see the films without ads, you'll need to get the $10 per month Peacock Premium Plus (though "Peacock channels, events and a few shows and movies" do have ads).
This isn't the first time Harry Potter's left HBO Max. As GR points out, the film series left HBO Max for Peacock in the summer of 2020, 90 days after HBO's new service launched. They returned to HBO Max in September 2021, and this current Peacock run began on July 1, 2022. And while it's very much like what you see on Netflix, where films come and go, this feels different, and kind of wrong.
Analysis: Would Disney Plus let Harry Potter go?
One thing we'll always give Disney Plus credit for is that they hold onto their big movies. Disney Plus is where you watch the Star Wars movies in order, it has nearly all of the Marvel movies (save Sony's Spider-Man movies and Fox's Hulk film), all the Pixar movies and so on. And they've never allowed any to slip from their grip.
Meanwhile, this is yet another instance of the Harry Potter films — which are Warner Bros. Pictures films — leaving HBO Max. And this service seems like it should be the permanent home for the films, as it is under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella. Maybe some people don't associate this film series with the studio, and therefore the streaming service, but it's certainly odd to see them part ways (again).
As noted above, films leave streaming services all the time, but one would have thought Warner would see Harry Potter as an important part of HBO Max. The only reasonable solution is that Peacock probably made a compelling offer for exclusivity, which will begin once the films leave at the end of the month.
If the Harry Potter films come back to HBO Max — and why wouldn't they? — we expect they'd return for the eventual HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger, as the two are meant to become a mega-service sooner or later.