HBO Max is removing several recent streaming premieres

The shocking decision to pull Batgirl movie from HBO Max‘s release calendar has brought a lot of attention to the streaming service and its library. If the company was going to shelve a massive potential blockbuster (with Michael Keaton’s return as Batman after 30 years), what else could they do to cut corners and save money?

For one thing, it looks like they’ve quietly pulled off some of their biggest streaming premieres in recent months. As observed by various sources, several of HBO Max’s major exclusives are now no longer streaming. The titles are i.a Super intelligencea comedy with Melissa McCarthy, the Covid heist movie Locked down with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway, the romantic comedy Moonshotthe drama Charm City Kingsand Seth Rogen time travel comedy An American pickle. Plus, perhaps the biggest movie of them all, Robert Zemeckis’ star-studded remake of The witches with Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Chris Rock. (Yes, HBO Max is down thaw Anne Hathaway movies.)

According to Variety, all six films that have been removed from the library were previously labeled as “Max Originals”. Other Max Original films, e.g At the post office and Class Action Parkare still available as of this writing.

While HBO Max adds and pulls titles from its library every single month, there was no warning that these movies would be removed in the company’s monthly press release to reporters, which lists the upcoming movies coming and going on streaming. And it comes amid the news that the new management at HBO Max’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery cuts costs and cancels projects.

Although I’m not sure many people will miss these movies – we reviewed An American picklewhich was fine, we didn’t report The witches, which was pretty bad — it seems very surprising that a streaming service would pull down its own original titles when they’ve been seen as the primary way to increase subscriber numbers in recent years. Does this move point to a shift in the future for streaming services that may involve fewer original streaming movies? Or is this simply a case of the new bosses in a company regretting some of the decisions made by the previous bosses, which tends to happen in many companies in many areas?

In any case, if you want to see any of these movies, they are still available elsewhere – for rent or purchase.

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