HBO Max has quietly removed six Warner Bros. streaming exclusives

Warner Bros. Discovery has been quietly weeding out content from HBO Max — including several Warner Bros. movies that streamed exclusively through the service — to cut costs.

At least six Warner Bros. films have been removed from HBO Max in the past few weeks: Moonshot, a sci-fi rom-com starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse; the artificial intelligence dystopian comedy Superintelligence, starring Melissa McCarthy; Robert Zemeckis’ 2020 remake of The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock; the comedy “An American Pickle,” starring Seth Rogen as an immigrant who wakes up after being jailed for 100 years; Doug Liman hijacks the picture Locked Down starring Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor; and the drama “Charm City Kings” from director Angel Manuel Soto.

All six films were labeled “Max Originals”. The removals were noted by users on Reddit in a discussion of Warner Bros.’ decision to scrap plans to release Batgirl — in theaters, on HBO Max, or via another platform.

The reboot of LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill comedy classic ‘House Party’ was previously scheduled to premiere on HBO Max on July 28, but was pulled from the release calendar.

Of course, streaming platforms are constantly adding and removing content. Unusually, Warner Bros. Discovery hasn’t announced the removal of the six WB streaming exclusives from HBO Max. (The movies are available to rent or buy through third-party VOD services.) It’s also worth noting that “Moonshot” was removed from HBO Max just about three months after its March 31 debut.

HBO Max’s removal of the Warner Bros. movies could be part of WBD’s effort to remove streaming content payment obligations for underperforming titles from its books. In the case of an unreleased film like the “House Party” remake, the media conglomerate could account for it as a tax write-off, as might be expected with “Batgirl” and “Scoob: Holiday Haunt” (the latter of which was a sequel to the animated film “Scoob!”). ).

Warner Bros. Discovery officials did not respond to requests to remove HBO Max movies. The company is expected to report second-quarter 2022 results on Thursday (Aug. 4) after the market close. Warner Bros. Discovery assumed a massive $43 billion in debt through the WarnerMedia deal; The combined company had a leverage ratio of approximately 4.6x upon closing of the transaction.

Like other streaming services, HBO Max issues monthly updates about titles added and removed – for example, it announced that all eight original “Harry Potter” films will leave HBO Max at the end of August, while also adding a large amount of content, including 28 films from A24 such as “Room” and “Ex Machina”. But none of the Warner Bros. original films deleted from HBO Max have been included in recent updates.

As of now, several Warner Bros. movies remain on duty exclusively for HBO Max. These include the 2022 remake of Father of the Bride, starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan; Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk” with Meryl Streep and “Kimi” with Zoë Kravitz; and “The Fallout”, “No Sudden Move”, “Unpregnant” and “8-Bit Christmas”.

In December 2021, before David Zaslav’s Discovery completed the WarnerMedia transaction with AT&T, WarnerMedia released a campaign announcing major releases for HBO Max in 2022, including House Party, Scoob: Holiday Haunt, and Moonshot. . The campaign’s sizzle reel, originally shared on YouTube, has since been privatized. You can still see it on Twitter:

Pictured above: Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor in Moonshot

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