WarnerMedia formally announced Tuesday that its new premium subscription movie service HBO Max will launch on May 27th for $15 per month.

Subscribers will have access to more than 10,000 hours of content from the vast Warner Bros., New Line and and HBO catalogs along with various movies licensed from third parties. Content will also come from AT&T/Warner partner companies including CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, classic films curated in partnership with TCM, and others.

Although the $15 per month fee is a little steep compared to other recently launched premium subscription channels like the Apple TV+ and Disney+, it is the same price as the current HBO Now streaming service. In addition, as reported here last week, WarnerMedia parent AT&T will be providing access to the service free of charge to some existing subscribers to AT&T’s various tiers on traditional live subscripiton video platforms including DirecTV and AT&T Now. It is also being made available to subscribers of various Charter/Spectrum cable TV tiers.

AT&T said it will also make the service available to subscribers to some of its broadband services as well as wireless service plans. See details below.

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Out of the gate, HBO Max will offer the entire HBO catalog along with popular new and legacy franchises from Warner Bros., the best of the best from around the world, and a monthly offering of new Max Originals,” said WarnerMedia.

Among the movies on tap through the service will be popular classics MGM/Warner classics including the Matrix saga, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, When Harry Met Sally, The Lord of the Rings, Citizen Kane, Gremlins, and the Lego movies. Also included will be the various super hero movies from the DC catalog featuring Batman, Superman Wonder Woman and others.

Not yet detailed is what resolution quality levels the titles will be available in or whether or not high dynmaic range (HDR) or P3 wide color gamut will be supported.

According to the official announcement some of the immediately available content will be the following:

Among a slew of movies and popular television series available from HBO Max will be the U.S. premiere of 20 films from Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli animation house, including Academy Award winner Spirited Away and Academy Award nominees Howl’s Moving Castle and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, as well as fan favorites My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Fans of all ages will be able to enjoy these wonder-filled films any time they want, the service said.

Among the HBO Max Originals on tap at launch will be the following:

Craftopia — a kids crafting competition show hosted and produced by YouTube influencer Lauren Riihimaki aka (LaurDIY).

Legendary — a competition program featuring voguing teams (aka “houses”) in unbelievable balls showcasing “sickening fashion” in order to achieve “legendary” status. The cast includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ as well as celebrity judges Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Megan Thee Stallion.

Love Life — the first full-length scripted series starring Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick about the journey from first love to last love, and how the people we’re with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever. It’s billed as “a fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series” from creator and co-showrunner Sam Boyd (In a Relationship) and is produced by Lionsgate Television and Feigco Entertainment.

Looney Tunes Cartoons — a new series from Warner Bros. Animation starring classic Looney Tunes characters. It is said to “echoes the high production value and process of the original Looney Tunes theatrical shorts with a cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling.” It is to include 80 11-minute episodes, each comprised of animated shorts with storylines adapted for today’s audience.

The Not Too Late Show With Elmo — a talk show starring the popular Sesame Street charater Elmo and a celeb-studded line up of guests. The “primetime” series brings familiar Sesame Street friends like Elmo, Cookie Monster, celebrity guests in a family friendly context. Among the guests on tap are Jimmy Fallon, John Oliver, comedian John Mullaney, New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander, actress Blake Lively, and award-winning musical acts Lil Nas X and The Jonas Brothers.

On The Record — A Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Hunting Ground, The Invisible War) produced documentary that was first reported by the New York Times about music executive Drew Dixon (collaborator on hit records by Method Man and Mary J. Blige, Estelle and Kanye West, and Whitney Houston) and her struggle to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. It also features several other women of color who fought to have their voices heard despite intense pressure to silence them.

Furthermore, “Max Originals will continue to premiere on the service at a regular cadence through summer and fall including The Flight Attendant, starring and executive produced by Kaley Cuoco, from Berlanti Productions and based on the novel by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian; the highly anticipated Friends unscripted cast reunion special; all-new original episodes of the critically acclaimed DC fan favorite Doom Patrol; the return of the critically beloved mystery comedy Search Party with a brand new season; the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy, an unfiltered and intimate view into comedian Amy Schumer’s life on tour creating a stand-up special during her difficult pregnancy; sci-fi series Raised by Wolves from director and executive producer Ridley Scott, the award-winning creator behind The Martian, Gladiator, and Blade Runner; the adult animated comedy Close Enough, from J.G. Quintel (creator of Cartoon Network’s Emmy-winning Regular Show), a hilarious look at the surreal life of a millennial family living with roommates; and Adventure Time: Distant Lands- BMO, the first of four breakout specials resurrecting Cartoon Network’s Emmy and Peabody award-winning franchise Adventure Time.”

As mentioned, AT&T is using HBO Max as a big carrot to keep subscribers to its various video services on board. It is also extending the offer to subscribers to some of its wireless and broadband services.

According to a synchronized announcement subscribers to the following AT&T services will be able to connect HBO Max via the following:

VIDEO


AT&T TV, the new live cable over internet TV service, will include the HBO Max app pre-loaded on the AT&T TV set-top box offering. Other AT&T video services will offer the following:

  • Access to HBO Max will be included in DirecTV Premier and Lo Maximo; U-verse U400, U450, and U450 Latino and AT&T TV Now Max packages, as well as a new AT&T TV Premier package coming soon.
  • New AT&T TV Choice, Xtra or Ultimate, and Óptimo Mas package customers and new DirecTV Choice, Xtra, Ultimate, Mas Ultra or Óptiom Mas package customers, will be eligible to receive HBO Max included for a year. Customers can sign up for these packages ahead of the launch of HBO Max to explore HBO content today.
  • Existing customers on many of the company’s video packages will be eligible for HBO and HBO Max for 3 months at no additional charge when HBO Max launches.

INTERNET


AT&T Internet users:

  • HBO Max will be included with our AT&T Internet 1000 plan at no additional charge. This allows customers to stream HBO Max, powered by AT&T Fiber with unlimited data and no annual contract. Today, customers can bundle AT&T TV and 1 GIG AT&T Internet for $39.99/month plus taxes for 12 months for video and $39.99/month plus taxes and equipment fee for internet for 12 months with a 24-month TV agreement where available.
  • Across our other internet plans, new and existing customers can sign up for a special offer of HBO Max included for 1 month.

WIRELESS

Certain AT&T wireless customers will also see the following:

  • HBO Max will be included in the AT&T Unlimited Elite wireless plan, which offers 30 GB of mobile hotspot data per line, HD streaming— for $50 (plus taxes and fees) per line when you have four lines and sign up for autopay and paperless bill. This plan also includes 5G access with a compatible phone and industry-leading priority data at 100GB/line per bill cycle. After this a customer might temporarily see reduced data speeds on that line if the network is busy.
  • Across other wireless plans, new and existing customers on AT&T Unlimited Extra, AT&T Unlimited Starter and AT&T Mobile Share plans can sign up for a special offer of HBO Max included for 1 month.

Current AT&T video customers can see if they will get access to HBO Max based on their plan or after making updates by logging into their online account or through the myAT&T app. More specific information is available here.

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By Greg Tarr

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