Harry Potter fans have a lot to be excited about these days. The first page of the unproduced, but much buzzed about J.K. Rowling biopic recently got released, and today, HBO NOW is streaming the whole library of Potter films for FREE.
If I knew any of the punny wizard spells from the series, this is when I’d say one. But alas, I do not. Sorry, folks.
HBO’s streaming service announced today that all 8 films would be available free of charge to new subscribers, as part of a one-month trial period. The reason behind what seems like magically good luck for fans has more to do with business than wizardry and spell-casting. NBCUniversal took over the basic cable rights to the films from Disney this past August. It plans to show the movies on USA and Syfy in 2018. Like HBO, Warner Bros.–the studio behind the films–is also owned by Time Warner Cable.
Anyway, Harry Potter is as much a big deal for fans as it is at the bank. Back in 2001, the first film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, raked in $317.6 million, and that’s only domestically. Since then, all eight films have brought in $7.7 billion globally.
For those of you living under a rock, or a staircase (I do know some Potter lore), the franchise effectively put lead actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson on the map. That’s Harry, Ron, and Hermione, respectively. The last film in the series was released in 2011, however, a spinoff titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released last year. A follow-up is in the works.