Warner Bros. Discovery is removing six exclusive original films for HBO Max of the streaming platform. The platform features notable television shows from across Warner Brothers properties, many of which are HBO and HBO Max originals, as well as popular movie franchises like the DC Comics movies. At the height of Covid-19 restrictions, Warner Bros. revamped many of its theatrical releases planned to premiere exclusively on HBO Max. While this helped the studio mitigate some of its losses, several of the films failed to live up to expectations as a result.
When Warner Bros. announced that batgirl won’t have a theatrical or streaming release, disappointed fans took to Reddit to voice their concerns. Many were shocked to find that batgirl was in post-production when the studio decided to cancel the project. In part, Warner Bros.’ decision was due to poor public reception at test screenings and the belief that batgirl did not meet the standard for a supporting version of the DCEU. In discussing the sudden cut of batgirl, fans questioned the decision not to have the HBO Max movie premiere. Some fans have noticed that over the course of several weeks, HBO Max has been slowly removing several of its original movies.
Six HBO Max original films were quietly removed from the platform by Warner Bros. Variety informed that movies taken from HBO Max are The witches, moon shot, Superintelligence, An American Pickle, Charm City Kings, and Braided. These films featured the likes of Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy, and Seth Rogen, all of whom typically appeal to audiences just by their name recognition. Also, science fiction rom-com moon shot, starring Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor, was dropped from HBO Max less than three months after it premiered on March 31, 2022. That was a surprising turn for a film that seemed specifically crafted to appeal to a younger audience for the streaming platform. . check out Variety take below:
“Of course, streaming platforms continually add and remove content. What is unusual is that Warner Bros. Discovery has not announced the removal of the six WB streaming exclusives from HBO Max. (Films are available for rent or purchase via third-party VOD. It’s also worth noting that ‘Moonshot’ was pulled from HBO Max only about three months after its March 31 debut. HBO Max’s removal of the films from Warner Bros. In the case of an unreleased film like the ‘House Party’ remake, the media conglomerate may be counting it as a tax break, as it is expected to do with ‘Batgirl’ and ‘Scoob: Holiday Haunt’.”
It’s worth noting that HBO Max isn’t the only streaming platform to regularly circulate its content. This is a common practice on streaming sites to keep their catalog fresh and attractive to new customers. However, other platforms typically make an official announcement detailing the content being removed, allowing the public one last chance to watch. HBO Max didn’t do it here, in fact, they did it so discreetly that fans didn’t realize it until the discussion surrounding it. batgirl emerged. This is also a particularly unusual move because while other platforms cycle their licensed content, Warner Bros. has removed Max Originals for which it holds exclusive streaming rights.
Those HBO Max Exclusive movies are still available for purchase or rent through video-on-demand services, but it seems unlikely they will return to the streaming platform. Some have speculated that it must be a financial decision by Warner Bros.’ part, since otherwise there is no disadvantage in having a more complete exclusive catalog in the service. Earlier this year, the company merged with Discovery Inc. in an attempt to claim a bigger share of the entertainment market. As a result of the merger, Warner Bros. assumed a debt of US$ 43 billion. The company is expected to release its Q2 2022 results later this week, which could provide some answers to this peculiar turn of events.