NBCUniversal says this morning that it has a deal that will give it exclusive access to all films for Warner Bros’ upcoming J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise beginning in July 2018. Terms give the Comcast-owned company on-air and digital rights across its TV networks through April 2025.
The first film in the series, David Yates-directed Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, is due on November 18. the studio recently announced that the second film in the series about Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is in the works with a November 16, 2018 release date.
In addition to the Wizarding World agreement, NBCU will take the cable TV rights that Disney now holds to the eight Harry Potter films, which NBCU plans to offer on USA Network and Syfy. The two networks will partner with Warner Bros. to show extended director’s cut versions of the first two Harry Potter films, a 2011 featurette When Harry Left Hogwarts, and 3D versions of the last two Potter films.
The deal also provides for “exclusive content and events” for Universal’s theme parks, which have had success with their Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions. They can include fan events, movie screenings and promotional activities tied to the Potter franchise and Fantastic Beasts film series. The companies plan to to collaborate on digital initiatives with J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore, which includes the author’s original writing.
The arrangement could be worth $250 million The Wall Street Journal says, which would make it among the largest for a movie franchise.
“J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World has captured the imagination of fans of all ages, from all walks of life, all over the world…and I’m definitely one of them,” says NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer.
Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution President Jeffrey Schlesinger says the arrangement “creates many exciting new opportunities across multiple platforms for both our companies and the fans of this franchise.”