When HBO Max launches tomorrow it will include countless crown jewels from the WarnerMedia archive in addition to a number of high profile acquisitions. Among the films that will be available are classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, new hits like the Oscar winning Joker, plus all of the Studio Ghibli films and more, over 600 movies total. Absent from that list though will be one of the major properties of the Warner Bros. archives, the Harry Potter series. The broadcast and streaming rights to the 8 films in the Harry Potter franchise are still controlled by NBCUniversal and are set to stay there until 2025, but they could arrive sooner.
Speaking with Business Insider about the upcoming service, HBO Max Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly was asked about updates on the films arriving earlier than five years from now, saying: "(There's) No timetable, but it is high on our priority list." When asked if there was a possibility that the films could arrive before the 2025 point, he seemed to be optimistic of those chances.
"I'll just say there is active engagement around that discussion. In terms of the marketplace, there's a lot of opportunities for horsetrading. The marketplace is shifting, with the impact of COVID and different companies launching different services, and it creates a lot of opportunities for horsetrading. We're seeing that across the board."
One film in the larger "Wizarding World" will be available on the service as the 2018 film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be streaming on HBO Max at launch. Its 2016 predecessor, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was not previously included on the list of films available at launch or what will be available on HBO Max in June, so it's unclear when that movie will be viewable on HBO Max. A third film is in the works as well and is currently scheduled to arrive on November 12, 2021, but the coronavirus pandemic has shut down its production and will likely see a delay in its release.
HBO Max will arrive in on Wednesday, May 27th and will cost $14.99 a month for subscribers. The service will include content from the likes of HBO, Cartoon Network, TNT, TruTV, Crunchy Roll, DC Universe, TBS, and even originals for the service. Like when Disney+ made its debut last November there will be many potential deals for people to get HBO Max for free. Charter customers who are currently paying for HBO will receive HBO Max for free while customers that have AT&T will also offer a similar deal.