Last week, Warner Bros. Discovery announced on its Q2 earnings call that it was not only planning to merge HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming platform but that it would also be killing a number of projects for tax write-offs, presumably to compensate for its low earnings-per-share. A regulatory filing clarified the sum: an $825 million write-down.
Among the projects receiving the chop were a $90 million Batgirl film that was well into production and the animated feature Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, both of which were set to premiere on HBO Max. Warner Bros. Discovery also shut down a Wonder Twins film, a number of shows at TBS and TNT (e.g. Chad, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, The Last O.G., and Snowpiercer), and, of course, CNN+.
While discussing the United States’ embarrassing monkeypox vaccine rollout and how the country let 20 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine expire, John Oliver took a few shots at the much-discussed merger on Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight—airing on the Warner Bros. Discovery-run HBO.
“We let the vaccine sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90 million movie on HBO Max,” said Oliver. “By the way, hi there, new business daddy! Seems like you’re doing a really great job. I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that will all pass.”