HBO Max is removing several recent streaming firsts

The shocking decision to draw the bat girl Film from HBO Max’s release calendar has brought a lot of attention to the streaming service and its library. If the company were to shelve a huge potential blockbuster (featuring Michael Keaton’s return as Batman after 30 years), what else could they do to cut corners and save money?

For one, they appear to have quietly scaled back some of their bigger streaming premieres over the past few months. As per various sources, some of the big HBO Max exclusives will now stop streaming. Titles include superintelligencea comedy starring Melissa McCarthy the Covid heist film Locked with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathaway, the romantic comedy moonshotthe drama Charm City Kingsand the Seth Rogen time travel comedy An American cucumber. Plus, perhaps the greatest movie of all, Robert Zemeckis’ star-studded remake of The witches with Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Chris Rock. (Yes, HBO Max is down two Anne Hathaway films.)

Corresponding diversity, all six films removed from the library were previously branded as “Max Originals”. Other Max Original films, such as on the plate and Class action parkare still available at this time.

While HBO Max is adding and removing titles from its library each month, there was no warning these films would be removed in the company’s monthly press release to journalists, which lists upcoming films to appear and go in streaming. And it comes amid news that new leadership at HBO Max’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, is cutting costs and canceling projects.

While I’m not sure many people will miss these films – we checked them out An American cucumberwe didn’t rate what was ok 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 number one way to grow subscribers in recent years. Does this move portend a shift in the future of streaming services that may include fewer original streaming movies? Or is this simply a case of the new bosses at a company reversing some of the decisions made by the previous bosses, which is the case in many companies in many areas?

If you want to see any of these movies, they’re definitely available elsewhere – to rent or buy.

All cinema candy, from worst to best

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