HBO Max’s Epic Rebranding Failure, and Warner Bros’ Stock Drop

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HBO Max rebrand, stock drop arrow with HBO crossed out. edited warner bros

Credit: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inside the Magic

The HBO Max rebranding to simply “MAX”, is resulting in some serious consequences for its parent entertainment company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

house of the dragon young alicent and rhaenyra
Credit: HBO

Related: Studio’s Own Staff Revolt After 36 Shows Are Pulled From HBO Streaming

When Warner Bros. and Discovery merged to form Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), there was a ton of backlash as a result of several intensely disliked decisions made under the new CEO, David Zaslav — resulting in a whole #FireDavidZaslav campaign.

Why do people already hate Warner Bros. Discovery?

Pedro Pascal as Joel with Bella Ramsey as Ellie
Credit: HBO

Warner Bros. Discovery, after their merger, removed 36 TV show items from their collection of HBO Max content, including HBO Max Original work, in an effort to take advantage of a tax write-off strategy. The company’s new executives aimed to save billions of dollars through this action, which unfortunately led to the cancellation of nearly finished films and TV series, including anticipated movies like Batgirl featuring Leslie Grace from the DC Comic-inspired movie franchise, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Amid WBD destroying film history, this is simply the latest news in a string of disappointing moves from Warner Bros. Now, however, they may finally be feeling the consequences of their questionable decisions.

Leslie Grace as Batgirl
Credit: DC Studios/Warner Bros.

Related: Warner Bros. Stands By JK Rowling After ‘Harry Potter’ Author Receives Threats

Recently, Warner Bros. Discovery broke the news that they are in fact forgoing the HBO name in order to “include more”. The decision has gone viral online, with many a HBO Max subscriber (and members of the public) reacting in the vehement negative. In a tweet that garnered a significant near-60K likes, user @been_herde comments on how this is likely one of ” the most insane marketing decisions” ever made:

getting rid of the HBO in HBO Max is probably one of the most insane marketing decisions in tv history

The following may contain language not suitable for younger readers.

While @NicholasPas5 comments in their own viral tweet that this ousting of the “greatest” TV brand name in HBO, is one of the “dumbest fucking decisions”:

Getting rid of the name HBO, which is maybe the greatest TV brand ever, is one of the single dumbest fucking decisions I’ve ever heard

The backlash to the loss of HBO branding has been extremely loud, to say the least. So loud, in fact, that it appears that WBD are already suffering financial effects from their almost universally badly received decision. According to Variety via Discussing Film, Warner Bros. Discovery’s stock fell by 6% after the debut of MAX:

Warner Bros Discovery’s stock dropped by 6% after the reveal of MAX. (Source:

The response has been swift, with the general public and existing HBO Max subscribers reacting in what could be described as an almost sadistic joy.

Meanwhile, user @CanWeGetToast commented that this is HBO’s comeuppance for their MAX rebrand decision:

This is what happens when you drop HBO from the name of your streaming service

While @directorsmiso chimes in with a succinct, yet smug reaction image:

I’m not surprised

As Petty Dabbler puts it:

Probably because the name “HBO” is synomynous with quality and “Max” is just the name of your mom’s boyfriend

Overall, these drops in Warner Bros. Discovery stock are evidence of a steadily disintegrating public perception. With such universally disliked branding decisions creating real tangible effects, it will take a serious act of stubbornness to not revert this decision. Sticking to the lone “MAX” name for WBD’s streaming service moving forward would surely be folly on WBD’s part.

What do you think of this new HBO Max rebrand to just MAX? Will Warner Bros. Discovery go back on their decision after the stock drop? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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