The streaming service war has a new contender. With more and more companies investing in online streaming services like Disney+, Apple TV+, and NBC's Peacock, Warner Brothers has decided to partner with HBO to launch their own unique catalog of films and original content: HBO Max.
HBO Max launched on May 27, 2020 to some mixed reviews that praised the site's library but criticized a few major flaws in the initial version of the service. The streaming service did not have the option to watch films in highest 4K quality, and there were many titles that were advertised to be included in the HBO Max's library but were missing upon launch.
One of the biggest acclaims the service received was how many DC titles were available to watch, which included every DCEU film (except Man of Steel ) and the Tim Burton Batman franchise. Streaming services usually don't keep their titles forever, due to licensing deals and issues with other networks and websites, but nobody expected a large portion of HBO Max's library to be leaving so soon.
A large portion of the live-action DC films will be leaving HBO Max on July 1, 2020, which is stated under the synopses of the films' website pages. The films that are leaving the streaming service include:
- Batman Forever
- Batman Returns
- Batman & Robin
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Jonah Hex
- Justice League
- The Lego Batman Movie
- The Losers
- Suicide Squad
- Teen Titans Go! to the Movies [Left today]
- Wonder Woman (Animated Movie)
- Wonder Woman
There is no official word yet on when the titles will be returning to HBO Max.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Licensing issues are common with streaming services, especially new ones. Disney+ users saw some popular titles, such as the Home Alone franchise, get abruptly taken off the site due to licensing problems. HBO Max already ran into problems with this, as licensing issues were most likely the reason that other popular DC titles like Man of Steel and the Dark Knight Trilogy were missing on launch.
Justice League has reportedly been confirmed to be returning to HBO Max later in the year , though the exact date is unknown. The same most likely goes for the other DCEU films, as Warner Brothers will likely negotiate to bring back a large slate of films. The studio already made last-minute deals to include the Harry Potter franchise on the site after initial reports claimed the Boy Who Lived would make his new home on NBC's streaming service Peacock.
Abruptly losing this many popular films will definitely draw more criticisms to the service, and it will leave many DC fans lacking in the content they signed up to see. Fans have less than a month to watch the films before they go, but after July, at least titles like Shazam! and Aquaman will remain to entertain audiences until the long list of titles hopefully return.