No more bad news on HBO Max – new movies no longer guaranteed

It’s been a tough week for HBO Max and it looks like it’s gonna get worse before a expected merger with Discovery Plus has a chance to do something better.

An industry source said decision maker (opens in a new tab) that, despite previous guarantees, films will no longer be guaranteed to be released in 2022 on the streaming service 45 days after their theatrical release. Going forward, each film will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

It’s a stark contrast to 2020, when films such as Wonder Woman 1984 released simultaneously on HBO Max and theaters. However, this fits the general trend of the new Warner Bros. Discovery: the result is what counts.

HBO Max’s recent issues

(LR) HBO Max and Discovery Plus logos on phones

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

HBO Max has been the source of a lot of news this week. At one point, it was rumored that the service would be removed entirely and replaced with an HBO tab in Discovery Plus.

He’s been out since some of our HBO Max fears don’t come true, but the streaming service still definitely took a few hits. First, six films have quietly disappeared – or rather, they tried to quietly disappear until everyone found out. Then the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, unplugged bat girla $90 million movie that was already mostly done.

Zaslav has a clear plan and to be fair, HBO Max is clear on it as well. Information presented during the quarterly earnings call on August 4 shows that HBO Max is not going anywhere, although it will likely merge with Discovery Plus. Plus, HBO chief Casey Bloys just got a whopping five-year contract, which is clearly a vote of confidence from Zaslav. But it’s also clear that Zaslav’s vision means maximizing the potential of the Warner Bros. catalog. Discovery, and that maximization could take very painful forms.

Analysis: Which films could this affect?

DWAYNE JOHNSON as Black Adam in New Line Cinema's action adventure

(Image credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

At this time, we don’t know which movies this affects, as it’s technically just a rumor. However, this plan would make sense for Warner Bros. Discovery because it maximizes their box office revenue for each movie by forcing people to see movies in theaters.

Upcoming DC films such as Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods are likely to take longer than expected to appear on the small screen. My guess: the bigger the movie, the longer it will take to drop into the HBO Max catalog.

Since films such as Top Gun Maverick shows that some films can still dominate the box office, it’s not a complete surprise to see this move.

It’s still a disappointment. It was a big plus that for your $14.99 a month you could just wait a month and a half and see The Batman from the comfort of your own couch.


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