No one is safe in HBO Max’s crusade against good TV. The streamer has taken to cutting our favorite originals in the aftermath of its parent company’s merger.
Once poised to dethrone Netflix, HBO Max, which was launched by WarnerMedia in 2020, might be giving it all up. The service just denied essentially finished productions of Batgirl (the DC comics film that cost $90 million) and Scoob!: Haunted Holiday (an animated feature totaling around $40 million) their debuts, according to The Hollywood Reporter. These decisions were just the tipping point for even more major cuts following a recent merger by their owner, now called Warner Bros. Discovery Media.
The company’s less-than-holy union with Discovery, which has been brewing since 2021, is already seeing huge changes to each of their streaming services Discovery+ and HBO Max, according to USA Today. For the new combined HBO-Discovery streaming platform, HBO Max is suffering most with an expected 70% cut to their development team, according to The Wrap. After Discovery purchased WarnerMedia for $43 billion, recently appointed CEO David Zaslav promised to shave $3 billion from his budget. Slashing HBO Max+ originals is clearly his strategy, and the internet is on to it.
A reddit thread caught wind of this yesterday and uncovered six original Warner Bros. movies that had already mysteriously dropped off of the platform. These include Moonshot with Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse, Superintelligence starring Melissa McCarthy, The Witches featuring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Chris Rock, Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, Locked Down with Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejioforand Charm City Kings directed by Angel Manuel Soto.
Other major drops include House Party, a LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill reboot which was removed before its July 28 release date, and the first season of Vinyl, which aired in 2016, that is no longer available on HBO Max, according to Variety. These suspiciously-timed and secretive changes could be a part of the company’s efforts to remove underperforming content, while still gaining tax write-downs, as they are expected to do for Batgirl and Scoob!: Haunted Holiday.
Motivations aside, it’s only natural that we ask, what are we losing next?
\u201c12 HBOmax original shows are on the chopping block\u2026. we will see tomorrow who show stays and who\u2019s going home\u201d— HOOD VOGUE is tired of poverty (@HOOD VOGUE is tired of poverty) 1659566697
With HBO taking over, HBO Max Originals are on the chopping block. Hacks, Our Flag Means Death, Harley Quinn, and Gossip Girl are just some of the titles with futures hanging in the balance. Still, with such unpopular decision-making, losing HBO original hits like Succession and Euphoria doesn’t seem entirely out of the question. Needless to say, Twitter is begging HBO Max not to ax their favorite shows and movies.
\u201cAll I know is that Harley Quinn needs to stay seated. Do you hear me, HBO Max? You better not lay a hand on her.\u201d— bobbi hosts \u2728The Afternoon Special \u2728 (@bobbi hosts \u2728The Afternoon Special \u2728) 1659555256
\u201cprayer circle, hope this works\n\n \ud83d\udd6f \ud83d\udd6f\n \ud83d\udd6f \ud83d\udd6f\n save\n\ud83d\udd6f HBO Max \ud83d\udd6f\n originals\n \ud83d\udd6f \ud83d\udd6f\n \ud83d\udd6f \ud83d\udd6f\u201d— Mike (@Mike) 1659568879
For confused and concerned subscribers, Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to report second quarter earnings later today, which will give more insight into what seems like the perfect act of self-sabotage for HBO Max.
\u201cif HBO Max really is folding into Discovery Plus and ditching all the scripted content that might be the single dumbest decision made by any corporation in the streaming age\u201d— halloween is a demonic holiday (@halloween is a demonic holiday) 1659541818
\u201cif warnerbros actually gets rid of hbomax there\u2019s no hope for that company. hbomax is genuinely the most successful new-age streaming service right now, and to get rid of that for discovery?? nobody even knows what that is\u201d— ceo of kory (@ceo of kory) 1659483746
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