Investors, fans and the Hollywood elite are all eagerly awaiting Warner Bros.’s first earnings report. Discovery, the company formed in April of this year with the merger of Warner Bros. media assets. and Discovery. The merger gave the newly formed company major television media properties such as CNN, Cartoon Network, Food Network, Turner Classic Movies and more, as well as all of Warner Bros.’s iconic IP, including Batman and the rest of the DC Universe.
But the merger gave Warner Bros. Discovery also owns one of the newest streaming services: HBO Max. And it’s especially that service that investors and insiders eagerly await to see the company’s first quarter results and join them in hinting at what changes Warner Bros. Discovery has in store for its streaming service.
Why all the fuss?
The drama began earlier this week when Warner Bros. announced that the $90 million Batgirl movie, which was fully shot and slated for an HBO Max debut later this year, would be shelved. The news of the film’s cancellation was all the more surprising as it featured a star-studded cast, including up-and-coming Hollywood actress Leslie Grace and Hollywood icon Michael Keaton, who reprised his iconic role of Batman for the first time in more than 30 years. . In addition, Warner announced that the upcoming animated Scoob! Holiday Haunt, based on the Scooby-Doo franchise.
The reason Warner Bros gave for the surprise cancellation of the Batgirl movie was that the studio wanted the DC brand to be all about big theatrical events from now on — so the direct-to-streaming superhero movie had to go now. However, Variety reports that the real reason is likely that Warner Bros. Discovery can take a huge tax write-off for the film, which just happens to be in line with the desire of the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, to cut costs at the fledgling company.
But negating Batgirl and Zaslav’s drive to cut costs, industry watchers fear the worst news is yet to come for the HBO Max streaming service. As The Wrap reports, Zaslav will announce a major restructuring of HBO Max shortly after Warner Bros. Discovery have been announced. As the publication notes, “The move will result in a hollowing out of HBO Max, significant layoffs for its executives and staff to minimize layoffs with HBO, and a combined streaming service with Discovery+ with a tougher separation between its scripted and unscripted content operations.”
If so, Batgirl and Scoob! could just be a sign of other seismic changes to come. Warner Bros. Discovery stock (WBD) closed at $16.71 yesterday, up 4.44% for the day. Analysts expect the company to announce quarterly revenue of between $11.13 billion and $12.41 billion. We’ll find out later today how right they are — as well as what the future of HBO Max holds.
We will update this post as soon as the news is out.
This post What will happen to HBO Max? WBD Income Answers was original published at “https://www.fastcompany.com/90775945/whats-happening-with-hbo-max-streaming-service-could-see-big-changes-as-warner-bros-discovery-reports-first-earnings?partner=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss”