In the latest round of streaming service musical chairs, the Harry Potter movies are heading to a new home. NBCUniversal has announced that the original eight movies in the beloved franchise will be making their debut on Peacock in October. The service launched last month and will be getting a major boost this fall from the Wizarding World.
The Sorcerer's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2 will all be available on Peacock. The company says the movies will be available for a six-month window into 2021. It's expected that the series will come and go over time, which has become increasingly common for streaming services in recent years. Frances Manfredi, president of content acquisition and strategy at Peacock, had this to say in a statement.
"The Harry Potter franchise is beloved by people of all ages and represents the caliber of quality entertainment customers can expect to find on Peacock. We've built a world-class collection of iconic movies and shows, and we will continue to expand the film library with treasured titles from NBCUniversal and beyond that will surprise and delight Peacock customers time and time again."
HBO Max had the Harry Potter movies for a short while after it launched. The inclusion came as a surprise and was meant to help attract subscribers to the new service in the early days. However, the deal was short-lived. Even though HBO Max is owned by WarnerMedia, the parent company behind Warner Bros., the studio that produced the adaptations of J.K. Rowling's popular books, a deal was made with NBCUniversal for the rights back in 2016. It granted the company on-air and digital rights to the franchise through 2025. The deal was made before everyone in Hollywood decided to get into the streaming business for themselves.
With that, WarnerMedia cut a short term deal so that the Harry Potter movies could be available on HBO Max at launch. With the benefit of hindsight, it's likely Warner Bros. would not have made the deal, as Harry Potter is one of the crown jewels of the studio's empire. But the Chosen One will now be shifting over to Peacock. The difference with Peacock is that it has a free tier, which is ad-supported. Most premium streaming services do not offer a free plan. It costs $4.99 for premium, ad-supported and $9.99 per month without ads.
It does not appear that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald are part of this deal. They could, however, make their way to Peacock at some point down the line. Harry Potter remains one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. Including the Fantastic Beasts spin-offs, the series has earned more than $9.2 billion at the global box office. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.