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

HBO Max: Launch date, costs, reveals 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 reveals 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 widespread reruns like Pals 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 transient) glimpses of the originals that’ll completely stream on the service. One snippet confirmed actress Anna Kendrick in Love Life, an anthology collection produced by Kendrick and Paul Feig that follows one character per season via a brand new romantic relationship every episode. One other appeared to be from The Flight Attendant, a drama collection through which a flight attendant wakes up in a resort room with a useless man.

At launch, the service will stream six so-called Max Originals, together with Love Life; the documentary movie On the File, which might be finest recognized for being controversial sufficient that Oprah Winfrey and Apple pulled out of it; an underground ballroom dance competitors collection referred to 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 reveals and films under.)

Down the road, WarnerMedia’s gigantic take care of director and producer J.J. Abrams will produce not less than three collection 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 Resort; and a 1970s crime present referred to as Duster. And WarnerMedia additionally has massive franchises and types to attract from: the DC universe and Sport of Thrones particularly. HBO Max is even making an unscripted Pals 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 rather more, however the virus and its respiratory illness, COVID-19, have shut down tv productions globally. New companies launching this yr are particularly arduous hit as a result of they merely haven’t got as a lot authentic programming completed but. Peacock has stated nearly all 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 influence of the virus but, nevertheless it’s positive to be in the identical boat. That Pals reunion particular, for instance? It is delayed. (Although the Pals stars are raffling off tickets to the taping, as soon as it is lastly secure to shoot once more.)

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 provide a free restricted tier with promoting. Some individuals who have already got an HBO subscription will get Max included free of charge — anybody who already pays for HBO via AT&T (HBO’s mother or father firm), the AT&T satellite tv for pc service DirecTV, or Constitution and its Spectrum companies. HBO subscribers via YouTube TV would possibly get a deal. However not each HBO buyer will get the automated improve. 

On Tuesday, AT&T launched a posh breakdown of all its HBO Max promos. As deliberate, some will get it at no additional 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 supplied 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 towards 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 can be $15 a month at launch. 

Throughout the first yr, the service will develop to incorporate one other tier that carries promoting. The corporate hasn’t specified the worth, 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 basically exchange it. HBO Now subscribers are welcome to stay with that service, however they’re going to basically be paying the identical quantity for much less content material. HBO Max may have all the identical reveals and films on HBO Now plus a giant catalog of licensed programming and unique originals. 

In contrast with rival streaming companies launching earlier than HBO Max, that pricing might 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 worth additional or offering alternatives for prolonged free durations lasting as much as a yr. Apple, for instance, is gifting away a yr’s subscription to anybody who’s bought an Apple system since early September. And Disney arrange a take care of Verizon so any of the provider’s cell subscribers get a yr free. 

Some individuals who have already got an present subscription to HBO will have the ability to unlock HBO Max at no additional value, however not everybody. Subscribers to HBO Now can improve to HBO Max free, and HBO subscribers through AT&T can get it free too (that’s, HBO prospects via 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 routinely be given entry to HBO Max for no extra cost.

Nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not you may get HBO Max included if you happen to get your HBO via 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 additional 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 examine 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 top of the parade of streaming companies launching. After Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus each launched in November, April introduced Quibi, a cell streaming service from Hollywood big 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).

Exhibits and films: What’s going to I have the ability to watch on HBO Max?

The HBO Max catalog is everywhere in the map. 

HBO Max will embody all of the reveals and films on HBO, plus a number of high-profile licensed content material, like Pals, The Massive Bang Principle, Rick & Morty and South Park. And it will layer unique authentic programming on prime 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 might 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 the whole lot on common HBO, so which means all of the theatrical films that come and go from the channel; new episodes from all HBO collection, like Westworld, Final Week Tonight With John Oliver, Sesame Road and so forth; and the previous seasons of these packages 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 can be an important a part of the catalog too. And any film that is accessible to look at 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 films.
  • 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 films like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, Singin’ within the Rain, 2001: A House 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 films, the corporate has stated. 

On prime of that, AT&T has been licensing outdoors hit reveals 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 Pals, 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 return; CW dramas like Fairly Little Liars, Batwoman, and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene in addition to extra upcoming CW collection; The Recent Prince of Bel-Air; and The West Wing; amongst many others. 

Animated satire South Park is not going to 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 reveals and films, referred to as Max Originals. For probably the most half, authentic collection 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 File, the controversial documentary movie
  • Legendary, about underground ballroom dance 
  • Craftopia, the YouTuber-hosted craft collection
  • 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 government produced by Kaley Cuoco based mostly on the novel by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Pals unscripted forged reunion particular
  • New authentic episodes of the DC property Doom Patrol
  • A brand new season of thriller comedy Search Social gathering
  • 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 government producer Ridley Scott. The 10-episode collection focuses on two androids elevating human youngsters 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 collection in its launch yr (which totals 69 collection when mixed with HBO content material). Then in 2021, HBO Max deliberate to develop Max Originals to a slate of 50 reveals. About half are focused at younger adults aged 16 to 34, and the remaining can be divided between extra grownup fare and youngsters 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 collection 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 collection additionally produced by Berlanti that explores the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans. DC Tremendous Hero Excessive can 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 bunch of adolescent college students at a boarding faculty for “gifted” youngsters.
  • Tasks 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 initiatives 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 Resort; and a 1970s crime present referred to as Duster. 
  • A half-hour comedy from actress-producer Issa Rae. Rae’s Rap Sh*t explores the music enterprise in Miami via the eyes of three girls: an upstart hip-hop duo and their hustling supervisor.
  • A half-hour comedy from actress/producer Mindy Kaling. School Women (a working title) tracks three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore School in Vermont. 
  • The Boondocks animated collection is getting “two reimagined seasons” together with a 50-minute particular initially deliberate for fall 2020. 
  • A brand new Jellystone animated collection with the traditional Hanna-Barbera characters from Warner Bros. Animation. 
  • New animated collection from Cartoon Community Studios referred to 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 staff behind his TBS present. They will be growing 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 keeping with the unique plan. Early highlights on the unique film slate embody: 

  • A two-picture take care of Reese Witherspoon’s Hey 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 regulation agency.

CNET has an inventory of all of the reveals and films set for HBO Max thus far. 

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What gadgets can stream HBO Max?

HBO stated the Max service can be accessible on a “very big selection of gadgets,” together with telephones, tablets, the online, linked TVs and recreation consoles. 

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

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

HBO Max can be much like HBO Go and HBO Now however with extra programming. 

Usually talking, HBO Now and HBO Go are practically 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 via 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 change over to HBO Max for no extra value. For HBO Go customers, it is extra difficult. 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 via 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 have to pay an additional $15 a month if they need HBO Max too. 

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

Yep, AT&T has much more streaming companies. 

AT&T TV is much like a cable or satellite tv for pc pay-TV service, besides it is delivered over the web. AT&T TV contains reside channels, DVR and video on demand that cable subscribers are conversant in, plus the power 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 employ, and subscribers can watch the whole lot on cell gadgets with an app too. Proper now, it begins at $50 a month for the most affordable tier’s first yr; the worth jumps to $93 a month within the second yr. 

AT&T TV Now, alternatively, is a live-TV streaming service alongside the strains of Sling TV or YouTube TV.  If you happen to have been conversant in DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now is simply the renamed model of that service. Relatively than requiring a selected field, it lets subscribers stream reside channels to Rokus, Apple TVs, Hearth TVs and extra, and the channels can be found on a cell app as properly. It additionally has a cloud DVR. Providers like this are typically referred to as skinny-bundle streaming companies, however AT&T TV Now’s most cost-effective package deal is not significantly skinny — $55 a month for greater than 45 reside channels (not together with HBO). Nonetheless, it is not fairly as sturdy as AT&T TV, which is supposed to duplicate the enormous cable packages of conventional TV. 

Lastly, AT&T Watch TV is nearer to a standard skinny bundle. It affords greater than 35 reside 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 possibly can stream AT&T Watch TV to televisions with a number of containers, together with Apple TV and Amazon Hearth TV, however others aren’t supported, like Roku containers.

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