HBO Max: Launch date, costs, exhibits and films to anticipate

HBO Max: Launch date, costs, exhibits and films to anticipate


HBO Max guarantees rather a lot.

Screenshot by CNET

HBO Max, the HBO-anchored streaming service lastly introduced to be launching Might 27, has a lot in widespread with its rivals within the streaming wars like Disney Plus and Peacock, to not point out Netflix. Like these, HBO Max may have a sprawling catalog of hit exhibits and films, plus a big-budget slate of unique originals filled with stars. 

One of many key variations: HBO Max is the costliest. 

HBO Max, from AT&T’s WarnerMedia, is investing billions of {dollars} within the service, its budgets for authentic programming and the costly offers to stream fashionable reruns like Associates and The Massive Bang Principle. 

As HBO Max introduced its official launch date Tuesday, it additionally dropped a brand new teaser video for the service with the primary (very temporary) glimpses of the originals that’ll solely stream on the service. One snippet confirmed actress Anna Kendrick in Love Life, an anthology sequence produced by Kendrick and Paul Feig that follows one character per season by way of a brand new romantic relationship every episode. One other appeared to be from The Flight Attendant, a drama sequence during which a flight attendant wakes up in a lodge room with a lifeless man.

At launch, the service will stream six so-called Max Originals, together with Love Life; the documentary movie On the Document, which might be finest recognized for being controversial sufficient that Oprah Winfrey and Apple pulled out of it; an underground ballroom dance competitors sequence known as Legendary; Craftopia, hosted by YouTuber LaurDIY; new Looney Tunes cartoons; and Sesame Workshop’s The Not Too Late Present with Elmo. (The Flight Attendant is coming later this yr, HBO Max stated. See extra within the part about exhibits and films under.)

Down the road, WarnerMedia’s gigantic take care of director and producer J.J. Abrams will produce at the very least three sequence for HBO Max: a present set within the Justice League Darkish universe; Overlook, a thriller based mostly on Stephen King’s The Shining and set within the Overlook Lodge; and a 1970s crime present known as Duster. And WarnerMedia additionally has large franchises and types to attract from: the DC universe and Sport of Thrones particularly. HBO Max is even making an unscripted Associates reunion particular with the unique forged.

However the slate of Max Originals is doubtlessly been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Individuals throughout the nation are confined to their properties and streaming way more, however the virus and its respiratory illness, COVID-19, have shut down tv productions globally. New providers launching this yr are particularly onerous hit as a result of they merely haven’t got as a lot authentic programming completed but. Peacock has stated the vast majority of its authentic productions are on maintain, and it will have solely a handful of originals accessible for its nationwide launch in July. 

HBO Max hasn’t commented a lot on the affect of the virus but, but it surely’s certain to be in the identical boat. That Associates reunion particular, for instance? It is delayed

HBO Max will value $15 a month when it rolls out within the US Might 27. That compares with $7 a month for Disney Plus, and Peacock will supply a free restricted tier with promoting. Some individuals who have already got an HBO subscription will get Max included without spending a dime — anybody who already pays for HBO by way of AT&T (HBO’s dad or mum firm), the AT&T satellite tv for pc service DirecTV, or Constitution and its Spectrum providers. HBO subscribers by way of YouTube TV would possibly get a deal. However not each HBO buyer will get the automated improve. 

On Tuesday, AT&T launched a fancy breakdown of all its HBO Max promos. As deliberate, some will get it at no further value, whereas others qualify for a one-month, three-month or one-year full trial. (It is complicated.)

And for everybody, HBO Max will add a tier with promoting that is cheaper, and even presumably free, someday within the service’s first yr. However the firm hasn’t offered any agency particulars.

HBO Max would be the final entrant to reach within the roughly six-month interval known as the streaming wars, when tech and leisure giants are launching their very own streaming-video subscriptions to go up in opposition to Netflix. With greater than 167 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix has dominated the transition to streaming TV. 

How a lot will HBO Max value?

HBO Max will likely be $15 a month at launch. 

Inside the first yr, the service will broaden to incorporate one other tier that carries promoting. The corporate hasn’t specified the value, launch date or catalog limitations on this tier, however it will presumably be cheaper, or free. 

HBO’s present standalone streaming service, HBO Now, additionally prices $15 a month. Although HBO Now will proceed to function, HBO Max will primarily change it. HBO Now subscribers are welcome to stay with that service, however they’re going to primarily be paying the identical quantity for much less content material. HBO Max may have all the identical exhibits and films on HBO Now plus an enormous catalog of licensed programming and unique originals. 

In contrast with rival streaming providers launching earlier than HBO Max, that pricing could really feel steep to many customers. Disney Plus is $7 a month, and Apple TV Plus is $5. Each are providing offers that may minimize the value additional or offering alternatives for prolonged free intervals lasting as much as a yr. Apple, for instance, is gifting away a yr’s subscription to anybody who’s bought an Apple machine since early September. And Disney arrange a take care of Verizon so any of the provider’s cellular subscribers get a yr free. 

Some individuals who have already got an present subscription to HBO will be capable of unlock HBO Max at no further value, however not everybody. Subscribers to HBO Now can improve to HBO Max free, and HBO subscribers by way of AT&T can get it free too (that’s, HBO prospects by way of DirecTV, U-verse, AT&T TV Now, AT&T TV and AT&T wi-fi customers who can add HBO with sure limitless plans). And thru an April take care of Constitution, all of Constitution’s present HBO subscribers, together with subscribers in its Spectrum Silver and Gold video packages, will mechanically be given entry to HBO Max for no extra cost.

Nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not you will get HBO Max included should you get your HBO by way of one other pay-TV supplier, whether or not that is a standard supplier like Comcast or Dish Community, or an internet-based one like HuluAmazon Prime Video ChannelsApple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. When AT&T introduced HBO Max at a three-hour presentation in October, the corporate stated it was nonetheless in talks with different pay-TV suppliers about providing HBO Max to their conventional HBO subscribers. Since then, solely the Constitution partnership has emerged. 

AT&T can be providing a sophisticated matrix of promos for HBO Max. Some prospects will get it at no further value, whereas others qualify for a one-month, three-month or one-year full trial. Your finest shot at determining whether or not you qualify is to test your account or the myAT&T app, however CNET additionally lists AT&T’s qualification phrases for its HBO Max promos

When will HBO Max launch?

HBO Max will launch Might 27 within the US. 

After that, HBO Max’s first worldwide expansions will prioritize Latin America and Europe. Latin America will get HBO Max in 2021, the corporate has stated. 

HBO Max’s US timing will put it close to the tip of the parade of streaming providers launching. After Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus each launched in November, April introduced Quibi, a cellular streaming service from Hollywood large Jeffrey Katzenberg, which focuses on brief episodic originals viewable solely on telephones. Additionally in April, Peacock launched a “sneak peek” at its service on Comcast; Peacock’s nationwide launch is about for July 15 (although that date could also be pushed up).

Reveals and films: What is going to I be capable of watch on HBO Max?

The HBO Max catalog is all around the map. 

HBO Max will embody all of the exhibits and films on HBO, plus a choice of high-profile licensed content material, like Associates, The Massive Bang Principle, Rick & Morty and South Park. And it will layer unique authentic programming on high of that. At launch, HBO Max stated it should have 10,000 hours of content material to stream. 

Initially, HBO Max deliberate to have 31 originals in its first yr and amp that as much as 50 originals within the second yr. However these timelines could should be adjusted due to disruptions from the coronavirus. 

The only a part of the catalog to grasp is HBO itself. HBO Max will embody every thing on common HBO, so meaning all of the theatrical motion pictures that come and go from the channel; new episodes from all HBO sequence, like Westworld, Final Week Tonight With John Oliver, Sesame Road and so forth; and the previous seasons of these applications in addition to the complete HBO again catalog, like Sport of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep, The Wire and so forth. Plus any of the HBO authentic movies, documentaries and specials. 

Films will likely be an important a part of the catalog too. And any film that is accessible to observe on the standard HBO community will even be accessible to stream on HBO Max. Highlights of the HBO Max movie catalog will embody (however not essentially have accessible at launch):

  • The complete units of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix trilogies.
  • The Lego motion pictures.
  • DC movies like Joker, Marvel Lady, Suicide Squad, Shazam, Aquaman and each Batman and Superman film of the final 40 years.
  • Studio Ghibli anime movies which have by no means been launched for streaming within the US earlier than.
  • Basic motion pictures like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, Singin’ within the Rain, 2001: A Area Odyssey, The Goonies and lots of others.
  • Newer hits like Loopy Wealthy Asians and A Star Is Born.

In the end, HBO Max may have greater than 18,000 motion pictures, the corporate has stated. 

On high of that, AT&T has been licensing outdoors hit exhibits to pad HBO Max’s catalog. Probably the most most eye-popping have been:

  • A reported $425 million deal to win the rights to all episodes of ’90s hit Associates, which has left Netflix to begin streaming on HBO Max at launch.
  • A reported $500 million deal to stream The Massive Bang Principle.

It is also secured offers for previous seasons of Rick and Morty; 11 of the latest seasons of Physician Who, plus one other three to come back; CW dramas like Fairly Little Liars, Batwoman, and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene in addition to extra upcoming CW sequence; The Contemporary Prince of Bel-Air; and The West Wing; amongst many others. 

Animated satire South Park won’t solely contribute its full again catalog to HBO Max but in addition stream new episodes. The newest episodes of South Park will stream on HBO Max 24 hours after they air on Comedy Central for the following three seasons.

And HBO Max may have unique authentic exhibits and films, known as Max Originals. For essentially the most half, authentic sequence on HBO Max will drop new episodes on a weekly foundation. 

At launch on Might 27, the originals will embody: 

  • Love Life, the comedy with Kendrick
  • On the Document, the controversial documentary movie
  • Legendary, about underground ballroom dance 
  • Craftopia, the YouTuber-hosted craft sequence
  • New Looney Tunes cartoons
  • The Not Too Late Present with Elmo 

Then over the course of summer season and fall, HBO Max will add different originals, together with: 

  • The Flight Attendant, starring and govt produced by Kaley Cuoco based mostly on the novel by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Associates unscripted forged reunion particular
  • New authentic episodes of the DC property Doom Patrol
  • A brand new season of thriller comedy Search Occasion
  • Anticipating Amy, a three-part docuseries about comic Amy Schumer’s life on tour making a standup particular throughout her being pregnant
  • Sci-fi epic Raised by Wolves from director and govt producer Ridley Scott. The 10-episode sequence focuses on two androids elevating human kids on a mysterious planet. The present had already wrapped manufacturing in South Africa.
  • The grownup animated comedy Shut Sufficient, from J.G. Quintel that appears on the surreal lifetime of a millennial household residing with roommates
  • Journey Time: Distant Lands-BMO, which is the primary of 4 specials resurrecting Cartoon Community’s franchise Journey Time

HBO Max initially deliberate to have 31 authentic sequence in its launch yr (which totals 69 sequence when mixed with HBO content material). Then in 2021, HBO Max deliberate to broaden Max Originals to a slate of 50 exhibits. About half are focused at younger adults aged 16 to 34, and the remainder will likely be divided between extra grownup fare and children and household content material outdoors the HBO model. 

A few of the different highlights of the originals set for HBO Max embody: 

  • New DC titles. A secretive Inexperienced Lantern sequence that producer Greg Berlanti (a young-adult TV guru behind Riverdale and Arrow) says will journey to area and “guarantees to be our largest DC present ever made.” Unusual Adventures, a one-hour drama anthology sequence additionally produced by Berlanti that explores the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans. DC Tremendous Hero Excessive will likely be a half-hour comedy from Elizabeth Banks, the producer and actress recognized for the Starvation Video games movies and 30 Rock, that’ll deal with a gaggle of adolescent college students at a boarding college for “gifted” children.
  • Initiatives by J.J. Abrams. Abrams, recognized for a parade of tv and field workplace hits, signed a megadeal with AT&T and WarnerMedia to make tasks for the corporate. On HBO Max, he’ll assist produce a present set within the Justice League Darkish universe; Overlook, a thriller based mostly on Stephen King’s The Shining and set within the Overlook Lodge; and a 1970s crime present known as Duster. 
  • A half-hour comedy from actress-producer Issa Rae. Rae’s Rap Sh*t explores the music enterprise in Miami by way of the eyes of three girls: an upstart hip-hop duo and their hustling supervisor.
  • A half-hour comedy from actress/producer Mindy Kaling. School Ladies (a working title) tracks three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore School in Vermont. 
  • The Boondocks animated sequence is getting “two reimagined seasons” together with a 50-minute particular initially deliberate for fall 2020. 
  • A brand new Jellystone animated sequence with the basic Hanna-Barbera characters from Warner Bros. Animation. 
  • New animated sequence from Cartoon Community Studios known as The Fungies and Tig N’Search, in addition to a hybrid live-action/animated comedy, Tooned Out, from Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis.
  • Comedy specials from Conan O’Brien and the workforce behind his TBS present. They will be creating 5 stand-up specials for HBO Max: O’Brien will host two specials that function brief units from a number of up-and-coming comics and curate hour-long units from three comedians. That slate will be a part of one other one-hour particular from comic James Veitch.

The service may have a smaller slate of authentic movies, between 5 and 10 per yr in response to the unique plan. Early highlights on the unique film slate embody: 

  • A two-picture take care of Reese Witherspoon’s Hi there Sunshine. 
  • A documentary about Anthony Bourdain.
  • A four-picture take care of Berlanti, together with Unpregnant, about two teenage women who go on a highway journey to New Mexico after one finds out she’s pregnant, based mostly on the younger grownup novel by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan.
  • Tremendous Intelligence, a comedy starring Melissa McCarthy a couple of lady whose romantic life is chosen for statement by synthetic intelligence.
  • Bobbie Sue, a comedy function starring Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez as an up-and-coming younger lawyer who joins a stuffy Boston legislation agency.

CNET has an inventory of all of the exhibits and films set for HBO Max to date. 

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What gadgets can stream HBO Max?

HBO stated the Max service will likely be accessible on a “very big range of gadgets,” together with telephones, tablets, the online, related TVs and sport consoles. 

However the firm has but to specify which explicit gadgets will help the service. 

How does HBO Max slot in with HBO Go and HBO Now?

HBO Max will likely be just like HBO Go and HBO Now however with extra programming. 

Usually talking, HBO Now and HBO Go are almost the identical product. The principle distinction is who makes use of them: Anybody can join HBO Now for $15 a month, whereas HBO Go is the app for individuals who have already got an HBO subscription by way of a live-TV supplier like cable or satellite tv for pc. Each HBO Now and HBO Go stream all of the programming accessible on WarnerMedia’s conventional HBO community. 

Individuals who have already got HBO Now can swap over to HBO Max for no extra value. For HBO Go customers, it is extra sophisticated. HBO Go is unlocked by a pay-TV subscription, and HBO Max will not unlock for all pay-TV prospects. For now, solely individuals who pay for HBO by way of an AT&T, DirecTV or Constitution service can get HBO Max included with their present subscription. (Pop again as much as our “How a lot will HBO Max value?” part for full particulars.) Until WarnerMedia can strike extra offers, everybody else who at the moment pays for HBO will nonetheless must pay an additional $15 a month if they need HBO Max too. 

How is HBO Max completely different than all the remainder of AT&T’s streaming providers?

Yep, AT&T has much more streaming providers. 

AT&T TV is just like a cable or satellite tv for pc pay-TV service, besides it is delivered over the web. AT&T TV consists of dwell channels, DVR and video on demand that cable subscribers are conversant in, plus the flexibility to stream from apps like Netflix and Pandora. To observe on TVs, AT&T TV has its personal proprietary streaming field that AT&T requires you utilize, and subscribers can watch every thing on cellular gadgets with an app too. Proper now, it begins at $50 a month for the most affordable tier’s first yr; the value jumps to $93 a month within the second yr. 

AT&T TV Now, however, is a live-TV streaming service alongside the traces of Sling TV or YouTube TV.  In case you have been conversant in DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now is simply the renamed model of that service. Relatively than requiring a particular field, it lets subscribers stream dwell channels to Rokus, Apple TVs, Hearth TVs and extra, and the channels can be found on a cellular app as effectively. It additionally has a cloud DVR. Companies like this are typically known as skinny-bundle streaming providers, however AT&T TV Now’s least expensive package deal is not significantly skinny — $55 a month for greater than 45 dwell channels (not together with HBO). Nonetheless, it is not fairly as sturdy as AT&T TV, which is supposed to copy the large cable packages of conventional TV. 

Lastly, AT&T Watch TV is nearer to a standard skinny bundle. It gives greater than 35 dwell channels, together with AT&T-owned TBS, TNT and CNN. AT&T Watch TV is a free perk included with sure limitless AT&T wi-fi knowledge plans, however anybody can join it for $15 a month. It was designed as a mobile-first service, however you may stream AT&T Watch TV to televisions with a number of packing containers, together with Apple TV and Amazon Hearth TV, however others aren’t supported, like Roku packing containers.

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