Harry Potter Movies Removed from HBO Max (February 2023): What Happened?
Whether you’re a fan or not, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise is one of the most popular book – and movie – franchises ever created. All eight movies were produced by Warner Bros.; hence, they were readily available on HBO Max. Unfortunately, it seems that the Harry Potter movies have been removed from HBO Max in February 2023. So, what happened?
At first, fans thought it might be a bug since there was no removal notice, but it was confirmed that all Harry Potter movies have indeed been removed from HBO Max. Some suggest it’s due to a deal that WB made with both HBO Max and Peacock so that the movies will jump between the platforms periodically.
I can see why fans are a bit upset with such a sudden removal – if you were in the middle of the series, and then it’s just removed without notice, it can ruffle some feathers. That being said, the movies will likely return in a few months and are currently available on Peacock. Plus, HP might still be available on your HBO Max if you’re from a country that doesn’t have Peacock.
Which movies were removed from HBO Max in February 2023?
As with any other streaming platform, HBO Max removes and adds content constantly. However, since their big merger with Discovery+, it feels as if the platform has thinned down its offer and emphasized high-quality content instead of quantity.
That is generally a good thing, but it means that many awesome shows and movies are getting dumped as well. So, which movies were removed from HBO Max in February 2023?
HBO Max usually announces the removal of movies and shows in advance. Hence, they announced they will remove the John Wick franchise from their offer this month, which upset some users, but hey – at least there was a ‘heads up.’ Other notable removed films included I, Robot (2004), Jurassic Park (1993), Life of Pi (2012), Source Code (2011), etc.
It was also announced up front that HBO Max would be removing the first two movies of the Harry Potter prequel franchise, Fantastic Beasts – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). The third movie, The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), remains on the platform.
Are Harry Potter movies removed from HBO Max (February 2023)?
All the movies I’ve mentioned so far were announced to be removed, at least with short notice. What was not announced, however, is the removal of the entire Harry Potter franchise – all eight movies. If you’re from the US and search for Harry Potter on HBO Max in February 2023, you’ll find – nothing.
All the movies were removed without notice on February 1, 2023, so I’m sorry if you were in the middle of a rewatch of the franchise. At first, users thought there might be a bug since the removal came so suddenly. However, it didn’t take long for HBO Max’s official support Twitter to answer and confirm that the movies were, in fact, officially removed:
“Hi there Brennan. Thanks for reaching out! While Harry Potter movies are no longer available on HBO Max, we’re always working to make sure HBO Max has the best possible content and know you’ll love the options available.”
While it explains that there is no bug and that the movies are gone, it doesn’t really explain why or if they are ever coming back. Don’t worry, though; we got it covered.
Why did HBO Max remove all Harry Potter movies?
If you’re new to HBO Max, you probably didn’t know that this isn’t the first time that the Harry Potter franchise has been removed from the platform. The removal isn’t because the movies weren’t viewed enough. Instead, the real reason is that HBO Max shares streaming rights to the Harry Potter movies with Peacock, Universal’s streaming platform.
As one Redditor explained, Warner Bros. signed a big deal with Universal for streaming rights to the Harry Potter franchise way before HBO Max became a thing. Then, when HBO Max came, they, too, got the rights to stream the films.
The matter was resolved in a way that the movies are now jumping from one platform to another periodically. Therefore, since February 2023, Harry Potter isn’t available on HBO Max but on Peacock. And, seeing the nature of the deal, it’s highly likely that the franchise will return to HBO Max eventually, probably in a couple of months.
On the other hand, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m from Croatia, and we don’t have Peacock here, so all eight Harry Potter movies are still available on my HBO Max. All you need is a good VPN, and you can probably still stream Harry Potter on an international version of HBO Max.
If you don’t have (or want) a VPN, and you’re from the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Italy, you can join Peacock for free (on their limited library plan) or $4.99 for an Ad-supported Premium subscription to unlock their full library. If you want the full library without any ads, it’ll cost you $9.99 a month.