Evanesco! It looks like a vanishing spell has been cast on the Harry Potter movies. WarnerMedia announced Monday that all eight films in the series will be leaving HBO Max on August 25 after being made available since the launch of the platform at the end of May.
While unrelated to the removal of the films based on J.K. Rowling’s novels from HBO Max, there has been recent controversy swirling around the franchise after Rowling’s comments regarding transgender identity brought on a barrage of criticism, including pushback from Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. The move to remove the films from HBO Max is simply a result of standard licensing terms and completely separate from the controversy. As of now, it is uncertain if or when the films will return to the streaming service.
In conjunction with recent news that NBCUniversal’s Peacock would also be losing a handful of popular films, it is clear that new streaming services, much like older streams including Netflix and Hulu, will still have to frequently remove popular titles from their platforms due to licensing reasons.
In addition to the loss of the Harry Potter movies, WarnerMedia also announced that as of August 31, other popular titles such as Dumb & Dumber, Good Will Hunting, Love Actually, Magic Mike, both volumes of Kill Bill and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, would be departing HBO Max. Mr. & Mrs. Smith will also be rolling off the platform on August 28.
The good news for HBO Max subscribers is that many popular titles will also be added to the streaming service in August including Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Elf, Kung Fu Panda, Ocean’s Eleven, Jojo Rabbit, Richard Jewell and Wedding Crashers. A slew of DC’s Batman movies will also soon be available including The Dark Knight, Batman (1989), Batman Begins, Batman Forever, Batman Returns and Batman & Robin.
In addition to continuing adding more titles to the platform, HBO Max is also starting to release new original content at a higher rate. Animated adult comedy series Close Enough and Amy Schumer’s comedy documentary special Expecting Amy both debuted on the service in early July. An American Pickle, HBO Max’s first original feature film starring Seth Rogen and Sarah Snook, is scheduled to premiere on August 6.
For a complete list of which films will be coming to or leaving HBO Max in August, you can visit this link.