HBO Max: Launch date, costs, reveals and films to count on

HBO Max: Launch date, costs, reveals and films to count on


HBO Max guarantees so much.

Screenshot by CNET

HBO Max, the HBO-anchored streaming service lastly introduced to be launching Could 27, has a lot in widespread with its opponents 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 unique programming and the costly offers to stream widespread reruns like Pals and The Massive Bang Concept. 

As HBO Max introduced its official launch date final week, it additionally dropped a brand new teaser video for the service with the primary (very transient) glimpses of the originals that’ll solely 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 by a brand new romantic relationship every episode. One other appeared to be from The Flight Attendant, a drama collection by which a flight attendant wakes up in a resort 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 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 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 reveals and films beneath.)

Down the road, WarnerMedia’s gigantic cope with 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 primarily based on Stephen King’s The Shining and set within the Overlook Resort; and a 1970s crime present known as Duster. And WarnerMedia additionally has huge franchises and types to attract from: the DC universe and Recreation 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 far 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 unique programming completed but. Peacock has stated nearly all of its unique 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 impression of the virus but, nevertheless it’s certain 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 protected to shoot once more.)

HBO Max will value $15 a month when it rolls out within the US Could 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 without spending a dime — anybody who already pays for HBO by AT&T (HBO’s mother or father firm), the AT&T satellite tv for pc service DirecTV, or Constitution and its Spectrum companies. Apple and YouTube TV are going to supply HBO Max immediately by their platforms, however its unclear if which means any type of particular deal. 

However not each HBO buyer will get the automated improve. 

Final week, 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 probably 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 might be $15 a month at launch. 

Inside the first yr, the service will develop 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 might 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 change it. HBO Now subscribers are welcome to stay with that service, however they will 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 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 lower the value additional or offering alternatives for prolonged free durations lasting as much as a yr. Apple, for instance, is giving freely a yr’s subscription to anybody who’s bought an Apple gadget since early September. And Disney arrange a cope with Verizon so any of the service’s cellular subscribers get a yr free. 

The place can I get HBO Max? And the way do I get Max if I have already got HBO? 

The best solution to get HBO Max is to enroll in it immediately, ultimately, at HBO Max can even be provided by Apple: You can join HBO Max within the service’s iOS app by an in-app buy, and Apple can even combine HBO Max into its personal TV app, which lets you congregate sure streaming channels to look at them in a single place. YouTubeTV, the streaming pay-TV service operated by YouTube, can even assist HBO Max. 

But it surely will get extra sophisticated if you have already got HBO. Some individuals who have already got an present subscription to HBO will be capable of unlock HBO Max at no additional 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 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 cope with 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 further cost.

But it surely’s unclear whether or not you will get HBO Max included when you get your HBO by 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 an advanced 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 verify 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 Could 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 companies launching. After Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus each launched in November, April introduced Quibi, a cellular 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).

What units can stream HBO Max?

HBO stated the Max service might be accessible on a “very big selection of units,” together with telephones, tablets, the online, related TVs and sport consoles. 

Solely not too long ago has the corporate begun to specify actual gadget assist. 

It stated Monday that HBO Max may have an app for many Apple units that may stream video — iPhone, iPad, iPod contact, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD. Nonetheless, prospects with second- and third-generation Apple TV fashions might want to stream HBO Max content material from their iPhone or iPad to their TV with AirPlay.

Exhibits and films: What is going to I be capable of 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 Concept, Rick & Morty and South Park. And it will layer unique unique programming on prime of that. At launch, HBO Max stated it’ll 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 best a part of the catalog to know is HBO itself. HBO Max will embody every thing 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 Avenue and so forth; and the previous seasons of these packages in addition to the complete HBO again catalog, like Recreation of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Veep, The Wire and so forth. Plus any of the HBO unique movies, documentaries and specials. 

Motion pictures might be an important a part of the catalog too. And any film that is accessible to look at on the normal HBO community can 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 total 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 Area Odyssey, The Goonies and lots of others.
  • Newer hits like Loopy Wealthy Asians and A Star Is Born.

Finally, 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. Essentially 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 Concept.

It is also secured offers for previous seasons of Rick and Morty; 11 of the newest 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 additionally 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 unique reveals and films, known as Max Originals. For essentially the most half, unique collection on HBO Max will drop new episodes on a weekly foundation. 

At launch on Could 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 time and fall, HBO Max will add different originals, together with: 

  • The Flight Attendant, starring and government produced by Kaley Cuoco primarily based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian
  • The Pals unscripted forged reunion particular
  • New unique 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 government producer Ridley Scott. The 10-episode collection 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 dwelling 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 unique 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 might 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 collection that producer Greg Berlanti (a young-adult TV guru behind Riverdale and Arrow) says will journey to house 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 might 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 faculty 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 primarily based on Stephen King’s The Shining and set within the Overlook Resort; 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 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 basic Hanna-Barbera characters from Warner Bros. Animation. 
  • New animated collection 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’re going to 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 unique movies, between 5 and 10 per yr in response to the unique plan. Early highlights on the unique film slate embody: 

  • A two-picture cope with Reese Witherspoon’s Good day Sunshine. 
  • A documentary about Anthony Bourdain.
  • A four-picture cope with Berlanti, together with Unpregnant, about two teenage ladies who go on a highway journey to New Mexico after one finds out she’s pregnant, primarily based 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 remark 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 reveals and films set for HBO Max to this point. 

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

HBO Max might be just like HBO Go and HBO Now however with further 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 by 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 further 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 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.) Except 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 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 aware of, 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 units 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 the event you have been aware of DirecTV Now, AT&T TV Now is simply the renamed model of that service. Fairly than requiring a particular field, it lets subscribers stream dwell channels to Rokus, Apple TVs, Fireplace TVs and extra, and the channels can be found on a cellular app as nicely. It additionally has a cloud DVR. Providers like this are generally known as skinny-bundle streaming companies, 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 strong as AT&T TV, which is supposed to copy the enormous cable packages of conventional TV. 

Lastly, AT&T Watch TV is nearer to a standard skinny bundle. It presents 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 bins, together with Apple TV and Amazon Fireplace TV, however others aren’t supported, like Roku bins.

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