Aussies, Rejoice: All Eight “Harry Potter” Films Returning to Netflix Australia
In January last year, Australian Netflix subscribers collectively raised their wands to bid farewell to the Harry Potter film series. Along with several other titles, Netflix Australia sadly removed the Potter movies from the popular streaming service. (In hindsight, it was fairly cruel that Australians had to brave the pandemic without the Potter flicks on streaming.) However, some very good news has just been sent via virtual owl. Announced earlier this week, all eight Harry Potter films will be returning to Netflix Australia on July 15.
It’s time to rug up, stay in, and put on your new favourite show or movie. Here’s what’s coming to Netflix in July… pic.twitter.com/wcwmY2JlVB
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) June 23, 2021
Last year, the streaming giant got into a bit of trouble when several fans voiced their disappointment at the unceremonious ousting of the Potter franchise. So loud were the unhappy witches and wizards that the Netflix Australia and New Zealand Twitter account had to publicly apologize.
I solemnly swear that I’m sorry for not letting you know that Harry Potter was leaving @NetflixANZ. Licensing fantastic movies is a beast and we wish we could keep them all. (Especially Azkaban, the best one, don’t @ me).
— Netflix ANZ (@NetflixANZ) January 16, 2020
Unfortunately, our favorite movies and TV shows can’t always live forever on Netflix. More often than not, content is removed from streaming services because the licensing rights to stream that series or film have expired and renewal may not be an option for one reason or another. Sometimes, the streaming service may have decided against re-upping simply because they no longer saw value in hosting that content. And other times, the rights to said content are just not available for renewal. It seems like the latter was the case for the Potter film franchise because those movies were mysteriously unavailable on any streaming service in Australia for several months last year. It wasn’t until the new year that Australians finally had a way back into the wizarding world. In January, after an extended absence, all eight films made their way onto Australian streamers Binge and Foxtel Now.
Thankfully, Netflix Australia also managed to work its own magic on the streaming agreements and will also be hosting the Potter flicks, just in time for Harry’s birthday.
It’s interesting to see that there’s also been confusion regarding the streaming rights to the Harry Potter movies overseas as well as in the United States. When HBO Max launched, the Potter flicks were immediately available and advertised heavily. However, three months later, the films were bafflingly removed from the streaming service owned by the studio that produced the movies. It seems that Warner Bros. had actually inked a deal with NBCUniversal regarding the digital rights to Potter that preexisted HBO Max’s launch by four years. So Peacock became the home of the Potter movies. Even more baffling, the Potter movies eventually made a return to HBO Max, but just for June.
Currently, all eight Potter films are streaming on Peacock, but the avian-themed streamer will eventually lose the rights to stream the beloved franchise at the end of 2021, at which point it’s likely they will land back home at HBO Max.
Why do you think there’s been so much uncertainty regarding the streaming rights of the Potter movie series? Do you think it’s tied to the rumored Wizarding World live-action series? Let us know in the comments.