Warner Max Film Label Being Phased Out By HBO Max And WarnerMedia

Warner Max, we hardly knew ye. The film label was launched in February of this year, with the plan being that Warner Max would produce eight to ten mid-budget movies per year for HBO Max. However, Warner Max is now being phased out, with Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich now overseeing all feature output, streaming and theatrical.The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Warner Max is being phased out. The WarnerMedia film label is relatively new – it was launched in February of 2020, and so far has produced UnpregnantCharm City Kings, On the Record, and An American Pickle. Upcoming titles that were supposed to be under that banner include No Sudden Move and, of course, Zack Snyder's Justice League. But it looks like those new titles will no longer be listed as Warner Max movies, since Warner Max will soon be no more.

Instead, all movies from WarnerMedia, be they theatrical or destined for HBO Max, will be overseen by Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, and "all development and production of original feature films for HBO Max will be consolidated under Emmerich and the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, working in conjunction with Casey Bloys on overall platform goals, according to the studio." Also, Emmerich's development and production team "will continue to develop and produce titles that will be distributed theatrically for the motion pictures group as well as direct to streaming on HBO Max."

When Warner Max was first announced, HBO Max's chief content officer Kevin Reilly was overseeing it along with Emmerich. Also involved: Warner Bros. Pictures COO Carolyn Blackwood, HBO Max executive Sarah Aubrey, and Jessie Henderson, executive VP of original feature films for HBO Max. Now, Aubrey remains in her position, but Henderson is leaving.

Back when the Warner Max news first broke, Reilly said: "HBO Max will be home to a robust collection of the legendary Warner Bros. film library and a new slate of original Warner Max films." Emmerich added, "Working with Kevin, Sarah, Jessie and their teams, we're committed to creating dynamic and compelling films that draw on the depth and scope of the creative resources across WarnerMedia. We're excited to help make HBO Max a destination for both film-lovers and the creative community, while delivering a win across the entire WarnerMedia organization."

The end of Warner Max signals that WarnerMedia is consolidating their plans after not being able to keep up with their goal of "eight to ten mid-budget movies per year" from Warner Max, which is likely tied into the ongoing COVID-19 situation that continues to play hell with film and TV productions.