HBO Max Is Already Yanking Batman and Superman Movies

It's not unprecedented, but it's still not great.

DC Films

Want to stream cool superhero movies on HBO Max? Better move faster than a locomotive! Several DC superhero movies, including Batman and Superman films, are already slated to leave HBO Max. Here’s the deal.

Big, shiny streaming service HBO Max only launched on May 27, but it’s already starting to lose some of its luster. A slew of superhero movies will depart the service on July 1, and the timing about a month after launch certainly makes their removal feels like a bait and switch. The Batman movies released in the ’90s, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and The Lego Batman Movie are among the 15 DC titles leaving the service which, it should be noted, has a DC hub. At least 21 will remain, mostly newer titles like Shazam!, Joker, and HBO’s Watchmen series. We know they’re leaving because they’ve been added to the “Last Chance” section.

Now, to be clear, this kind of thing happens all the time. Streaming services buy the rights to titles for a predetermined amount of time, and if they can’t or don’t want to strike a deal with content owners to extend those deals then they move on. It’s happened with Friends and Seinfeld, it’s going to happen to The Office — it’s just the nature of the game.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that consumers like it, and when you’re trying to build a subscriber base for a new (and pretty expensive) streaming service keeping customers happy — and potential customers intrigued — is pretty damn important. Here’s what an HBO Max spokesperson had to say.

“We have a collection of DC films that will rotate on the platform. We have a new batch coming in July and then another batch coming in August. And I have just confirmed that the batch that is on right now will be returning.”

No word yet on what that new batch is, but we do know that HBO Max, at least for the foreseeable future, won’t be the one-stop-shop for every DC title that it could have been. That’s disappointing, even if it’s not all that unusual.