9:28 am EDT, May 27, 2020

HBO Max launches with surprise, last-minute addition of ‘Harry Potter’ movies

HBO Max arrived Wednesday morning, and there was one big addition at the last minute: All eight Harry Potter movies.

NBC had owned the streaming rights to the Harry Potter films through 2025, but in a press release sent out this morning, HBO Max announced that the entire series would be immediately available on their platform. The films were not expected to be on Max due to the NBC deal, but some sort of arrangement was apparently made at the last minute.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is also available, but the first Fantastic Beasts movie is currently not. NBC still has the television air rights, so they’ll continue to run on Peacock-owned channels like Syfy.

HBO Max is the latest major streaming platform to hit the market, and is probably the last to launch for a while. Max is a WarnerMedia project that holds over 2,000 films including Wonder Woman, Joker, Downton Abbey, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Citizen Kane, Gremlins, Braveheart, Friday the 13th, Godzilla, Gone with the Wind, and many more.

On the TV side, HBO Max is the new home of South Park, Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, The Boondocks, The Bachelor, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and CW shows such as Batwoman, Nancy Drew, and Katy Keene.

Like any good streaming service, Max also has several original series at launch, with many more in the pipeline. Shows available at launch include new series starring Anna Kendrick and Elmo.

Of course, HBO Max is also the home of everything that was already available on HBO. The streamer costs $14.99 (the same price as a HBO subscription), and most HBO customers should be able to use their existing credentials to login to Max.

HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon, and Quibi are all now competing for your streaming dollars. Which are you signing up for?

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