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Why HBO Max Releases Are A Problem For The Rest Of The World

Wonder Woman 1984 has been released in theatres worldwide, however, the United States get the added benefit of the ability to watch WW84 through HBO Max, among many other future releases including Suicide Squad, Snyder Cut’s Justice League, and many others.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s a poor move from Warner Bros because it isn’t, especially given the current climate and the pandemic times we find ourselves in, the issue is limiting this to the USA only.

Granted, I don’t know how licenses work, contracts or how a streaming platform can seemingly find their way overseas, but it’s definitely an issue for millions of fans all around the world.

Many countries are experiencing national lockdowns, and in the UK cinemas are barely even open so the opportunity to watch WW84 is incredibly limited, and perhaps the only option is for fans to illegally watch the movie. I’ll get onto that part in a moment.

This stems from DC as per usual. We still find ourselves in a place where the USA get to watch many shows and movies on release, including a lot of the CW whereas the rest of the world have to find other means to view them or wait. Sky in the UK for the CW shows tends to be weeks behind, it’s another problem. HBO Max will most likely do the same.

It’s a weird situation, considering Disney+ have made their model work across pretty much the entire world at the moment with very little piracy issues that I know of. The Mandalorian is available for everybody at the same time every week (when the season is running) at a very small cost.

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From what I have read, it seems that it’s very unlikely HBO Max will leave the USA for the foreseeable future, plus they fall behind their major competitors in Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+. Can you be surprised? No, of course not.

There’s a large number of superhero/comic fans outside of the USA that are just still being screwed over by Warner Bros and their decisions. It’s a consistent let down that anybody outside of America has to find other ways to watch these, especially when there’s so many that would be willing to sign up. I’m one of them.

You can say I’m jealous of the American public of having access to HBO Max, and you would be right in saying that. I’m absolutely jealous. HBO Max have a powerful catalogue in the pipeline, maybe it’s not great now, but it will be, and that’s where the issue arises.

DC Universe struggled in the exact same way. Disney+ launched in November 2019 and had already expanded to multiple countries by March 2020. It took them 5 months. HBO Max has been out since May, and not even a glimmer of hope it will travel anywhere.

Maybe there’s a reason, but there’s not even a word from anybody to state what they plan to do to ensure the people overseas get access to these shows and movies. Even when the WWE Network was only within the USA, they discussed with their fans that they’re working on it and an estimated timeframe.

This is a big difference, most of these platforms discuss this with their fans, but it’s silence from Warner Bros and HBO Max once again.

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I’m not worried about saying these executive decisions are stupid, and it infuriates me as a massive fan of these products that I have to wait to watch anything. It’s one of the reasons why Disney+ has become an absolute powerhouse to the streaming world, and almost immediately rivalling Netflix.

If HBO Max has licensing or contractual issues that stop this going worldwide then fine, let us know. Also, let us know what the plans are to ensure people get the same access to these shows and movies.

I’m ending my rant there. I know Sky and HBO have dealt in the past, I at least expected to see WW84 on the Sky Store for £19.99, I would have been happy to pay for it, but once again I will just have to wait. From my understanding, UK fans will have to wait around a month, which again, is pathetic.

It’s not even just the fans suffering, it’s the profit of the movie itself. With a less reach, then less money it’s going to earn especially considering piracy will be rife once again. You only have to take a look at when TITANS first launched.

Plus one more thing to note. Millions of people are now subscribed to Disney+ for many reasons as there’s a lot of content on there. How many of those were non-MCU fans, and decided to give it a go. Now they’re fans, and most likely when the cinemas re-open will attend adding revenue to future movies? That’s another thing to think about.

Gal Gadot Wonder Wonder 1984 – Warner Bros/DC/HBO Max

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Daniel Lewandowski

28 years old. Founder, and co-owner of Comic Universe. Journalist specializing in the Arrowverse shows, and the MCU. Creator of the Comic Universe website.

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