WarnerMedia announced a new film label, Warner Max, which will produce original movies exclusively for HBO Max — and enhance the streaming service.
Warner Bros. Picture Group COO Carolyn Blackwood explained the united front the company is taking as it pushes into a new streaming frontier:
“It’s been great collaborating with our colleagues at HBO Max to take full advantage of our shared strategic advantages and creative expertise to make Warner Max a competitive player in the original SVOD film space from day one.”Warner Media Group
It’s certainly an exciting time for WarnerMedia, whose streaming platform, HBO Max, will launch in May.
Already armed with tons of iconic preexisting IPs and its own impressive catalog, there’s plenty of original content in the pipeline already. This Warner Max label just adds to the anticipation.
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What to expect from HBO Max via new Warner label
According to the press release, Warner Max is targeting eight to 10 mid-budget feature films per year. Head of HBO Max oriiganl content Sarah Aubrey further explained the type of movies this may entail.
“Warner Bros. Pictures Group has long been the gold standard for filmmaker driven storytelling. We are proud to be in in the features business with them and continue that legacy on our SVOD platform.”Warner Media Group
Warner Bros. themselves played a part in the release of 22 films this past year, so that’s a pretty ambitious starting point. HBO Max had a 2020 content budget of $2 billion before news of this Warner Max label broke.
While that pales in comparison to Netflix’s $18.5 billion, there was clearly a grander plan at work. Plus, HBO Max spent huge to acquire certain classic shows like Friends, The Big Bang Theory and South Park, among others.
Big Bang cost a reported billions of dollars alone. South Park was estimated at around $500 million. J.J. Abrams signed a reported $500 million deal with WarnerMedia.
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An expanded, exclusive catalog to validate price point
No streaming service charges as much as HBO Max’s planned initial price point of $14.99 per month. But obviously, there’s a reason for it: they’ve invested as much as any new streaming service in content spending.
Despite boasting so many phenomenal original TV shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire and many more, HBO Max went above and beyond to ensure they weren’t resting on laurels.
Apparently there’s no feeling within WarnerMedia any of this will backfire. They’re spending like there’s no possibility of failure. Well, the partnership with AT&T virtually assures it’s too big to fail.
Provided Warner Max produces movies on quality with the major studio and on par with HBO’s excellent TV series, it’s going to be a home run.
It seems indeed true that HBO Max will be Disney+’s true competitor for Streaming Wars superiority among the market’s newcomers. However, the former is certainly seems more proactive in spending than the other.
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