If Warner Bros. Discovery shelving Batgirl wasn’t enough, HBO Max quietly removed 6 films launched as Max Originals.
The following titles are no longer streaming on the streaming service per a Variety report:
HBO Max also quietly removed House Party from its schedule. Did anyone even notice? If House Party is also cancelled completely, the studio is going to have a third title to write-off on their tax return. While all of these films are no longer on the HBO Max platform, audiences can buy or rent through digital retailers.
Removing licensed content because the license expired is one thing. But when a streaming service removes their own original content because of cost-cutting moves, it is infuriating. We live in a world where streaming content is not permanent, even on one’s own streaming service. The fact that Warner Bros. Discovery just pulled this stunt on HBO Max is just mindboggling. Like why? Why do you have to remove your own original films from the streaming service? Were they not performing enough to David Zaslav’s new standards? Or is it just another bullshit move?
It’s not surprise that HBO Max has become one of the premier streaming services out there. Much of this is because of the content being supplied by HBO. But in addition to the HBO content, there are other films and series that are produced strictly for HBO Max. It’s one thing to cancel a series but G-d forbid they just pull the series from the streamer without as much of a warning. The word that keeps going around is that the studio wants to cut spending. Does the studio not want to pay residual payments to the actors and filmmakers for every stream? This is the FIRST thing that comes to mind with this fakakta decision-making. It’s not like they’re paying out money to license a film because they already acquired some of the titles from other studios.
If you click on the HBO Max tag, you’ll notice that I report on what is coming and leaving the schedule every month. I don’t just skim the announcements every month. I also pay attention closely to which films are leaving the service. The fact that they just removed these titles without a warning is, again, a bullshit move. It’s a screw you in the face to their own subscribers. Now, I might not have cared much for Locked Down but I’m not a fan of removing content in this manner.
The sad part? All of the Zack Snyder cultists who harassed Warner Bros. and HBO Max to release the SnyderCut are not going to do the same thing for Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt. I’ve also seen a lot of social media comments with various ways of saying “good! now they can restore the SnyderVerse” on Twitter. I’m certainly not surprised at this point–the fact that these fans only care about Snyder’s films and nobody else’s movies tells me everything I need to know about them.
Warner Bros. and HBO Max are going to need to do a better job going forward. Trust is key in any relationship, whether it is filmmaker, talent, or even a customer. It is earned, not a given. Right now, the studio needs to work on earning it back. It’s beyond infuriating to see what the studio did with Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt. This decision just makes it all the more worse.
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