Superintelligence

This is the future of film: when studios are uncertain about a movie they’re going to send it to streaming rather than the big screen. It’s happened already, with studios like Paramount sending titles like The Cloverfield Paradox straight to Netflix and Disney dropping several new movies on their upcoming streaming service Disney+. Now Warner Bros. is making the move too, pulling the Melissa McCarthy comedy Superintelligence from its upcoming December theatrical release and dropping it onto the Warner streaming service HBO Max.

Studios are in a mad dash to launch their own streaming services, and with good reason. For one thing, they all want to compete with Netflix. For another, having their own streaming service now gives studios a way to offload movies they might not be 100% confident in. Case in point: Superintelligence, a new Melissa McCarthy comedy directed by Ben Falcone, will no longer open in theaters this December as planned. Instead, the film will arrive on HBO Max in the Spring of 2020.

“This is the perfect high concept comedy with an artist we all love to work with, and shows the top caliber of talent we’re bringing to HBO Max,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max and President, TNT, TBS and truTV.

“We used the A.I. from Superintelligence to look at every single platform in the world, and then used its super knowledge and big artificial brain-like thing to determine that HBO Max was the right home for our film,” jokingly added McCarthy and Falcone.

To be clear: this doesn’t mean Superintelligence is a bad movie. It just means that Warner Bros. isn’t fully convinced they can get a big return on their investment at the box office. That’s not their fault – that’s just the way the movie landscape is right now. By dropping the movie on HBO Max rather than in theaters, Warners side-steps the ugly possibility of a box office flop.

Superintelligence “tells the story of Carol Peters (McCarthy), to whom nothing extraordinary ever happens. But when she starts getting snarky backtalk from her TV, phone and microwave, she thinks she’s being punked. Or losing her mind. In fact, the world’s first superintelligence has selected her for observation, taking over her life…with a bigger, more ominous plan to take over everything. Now Carol is humanity’s last chance before this artificial intelligence-with-an-attitude decides to pull the plug.” The cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry, Jean Smart, and James Corden.

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