HBO Max quietly removed Six Warner Bros. Streaming-Exclusive Movies

Warner Bros. Discovery has been quietly yanking content from HBO Max — including several Warner Bros. movies that used to stream exclusively on the service — in what appears to be a cost-cutting effort.

In recent weeks, at least six Warner Bros. removed from HBO Max: “Moonshot,” a sci-fi rom-com starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse; artificial intelligence dystopia 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 pickled for 100 years. Doug Liman’s heist “Locked Down” with Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor. and the drama “Charm City Kings” from director Angel Manuel Soto.

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All six films were labeled “Max Originals”. The removals were noted by users on Reddit in a discussion about Warner Bros.’ decision not to plan to release “Batgirl” — in theaters, on HBO Max or through any other platform.

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

Sure, streaming platforms are constantly adding and removing content. What is unusual is that Warner Bros. Discovery did not announce 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 pulled from HBO Max just three months after its March 31 debut.

The abolition of Warner Bros. films. from HBO Max could be part of WBD’s move to take its streaming content payment obligations for low-performing titles off its books. In the case of an unreleased film like the “House Party” remake, the media conglomerate could consider it a tax write-off, as it is expected to do with “Batgirl” and “Scoob: Holiday Haunt” (the latter of which was the sequel to the cartoon Scoob!).

The representatives of Warner Bros. Discovery did not respond to questions about the removal of HBO Max movies. The company is scheduled to report second-quarter 2022 earnings on Thursday (August 4) after the market closes. Warner Bros. Discovery took on a whopping $43 billion in debt through the WarnerMedia deal. the combined company had a debt-to-equity ratio of about 4.6 times after the deal closed.

Like other streaming services, HBO Max issues monthly updates about titles being added and removed — for example, it announced that all eight original “Harry Potter” movies will be leaving HBO Max at the end of August, while also adding a big bucket content including 28 films from A24, including “Room” and “Ex Machina”. But none of the original Warner Bros. movies. removed from HBO Max was not included in recent updates.

So far, several Warner Bros exclusive movies for HBO Max are still in the service. These include the 2022 remake of “Father of the Bride” starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan. Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk” starring Meryl Streep and “Kimi” starring Zoë Kravitz. and “The Fallout,” “No Sudden Move,” “Unpregnant” and “8-Bit Christmas.”

In December 2021, before David Zaslav’s Discovery closed WarnerMedia’s deal with AT&T, WarnerMedia released a campaign touting major releases coming to HBO Max in 2022, including “House Party,” “Scoob: Holiday Haunt” and “Moonshot”. The campaign reel that was originally shared on YouTube has since been made private. You can still follow it on Twitter:

Pictured above: Cole Sprouse and Lana Condor in “Moonshot”

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