Throughout the streaming wars, HBO Max seems to be coming out on top when it comes to accolades for their original television series and movies. Along with its sidekick HBO, the streaming platform has been the recipient of multiple Primetime Emmy Award nominations, most recently for series like The White Lotus, Hacks, Succession, and Euphoria. HBO Max made headlines at the start of 2022 when it debuted a reunion of the cast of the Harry Potter franchise, elevating the streamer’s catalog of movies that often include Warner Bros. favorites. Recently, it appears that HBO Max may be removing some of their exclusive films but doing it on the down low.
According to a report by Variety, HBO Max has removed six movies from their exclusive Max Originals collection. These six films are The Witches with Anne Hathaway, Moonshot, Superintelligence with Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, the COVID-era Locked Down, and Charm City Kings. As part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s effort to cut costs, the titles in question were taken off of the streaming platform, but it appears their removal was done without fanfare or notice. Without an official announcement from the company, it seems that HBO Max may be adding to some of their ongoing troubles outside of award season.
Unlike HBO Max’s recent purge of their film library content, other streamers typically announce when movies will be removed for their options for audiences. Vulture reports on Netflix’s monthly additions as well as their removals, including original series and movies that Netflix is typically known for. HBO Max recently announced that the Harry Potter franchise of movies will be leaving the streamer later this month, as the film series is heading to Peacock, per Screen Rant. The recent Harry Potter announcement is particularly interesting considering HBO Max’s secret eviction of its own original movies.
To add to HBO Max’s secretive nature in recent weeks, Warner Bros. is having quite a field day with one of their major titles. CNN reports that the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Batgirl has been shelved permanently. The movie stars actor Leslie Grace as Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, as she fights crime in Gotham City. Even though the film was nearing completion and boasts a great cast including Academy Award-winner J. K. Simmons, Michael Keaton, Jacob Scipio, and Brendan Fraser, Warner Bros. Discovery has chosen to not release the film in theaters or on HBO Max. Along with the theme of cost cutting, the studio is apparently focusing on other titles under its umbrella.
Batgirl’s closing and HBO Max’s removal of several films from its platform might be making fans curious as to the future of a great streaming subscription service. After all, Batgirl was also supposed to be the relaunch of Michael Keaton playing Bruce Wayne, and Harry Potter’s departure may show signs that the studio may be in trouble. Hopefully many of HBO Max’s original series and their success with critics this awards season will assist in boosting the platform’s popularity and keep it going for longer.