Just because movies or shows are on a streaming service — even if those movies and shows are produced by said streaming service — does not mean they will be available forever.
We have already seen Warner Bros. take down dozens of originals from HBO Max as a cost-cutting measure, and now Disney appears to be following suit. Last week, Disney revealed it was “removing certain content from our streaming platforms” as part of a plan to take a $1.5 million “impairment charge” — essentially a write-off of certain expenses for tax purposes. (That was the same financial strategy that led HBO Max to cancel its Batgirl movie before it was finished.)
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The Hollywood Reporter has a list of titles that will be leaving both Disney+ and Hulu “starting on May 26” and it includes over 30 names — including some of the streaming services more high-profile content of recent years. Recognizable (and no doubt expensive) series that will be leaving the services include Be Our Chef, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings, Diary of a Future President, Magic Camp, Y: The Last Man, Willow, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. And their full list also includes a few streaming movies — like the notorious Artemis Fowl, which went straight to Disney+ in the early days of the pandemic.
When streaming services were first on the rise, one of their selling points — as compared to ye olden days of video stores — was that the stuff on streaming never needed to be returned. There were not only no late fees, you could watch something as many times as you wanted, over and over. And in some cases, that is true. (If you wanted to enjoy an episode of Fuller House every day from now until the end of time, you can. As long as you keep paying Netflix every month, no one could stop you.)
But these stories of titles getting yanked down are becoming more common — and they do serve as a reminder than in the world of digital files, nothing is truly permanent. Anything can be removed at any time for any reason, with very little warning. And a lot of these streaming-first shows and movies never get a release on physical media, which means when they get pulled down they could be gone for years. Or maybe forever.
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Disney is one of the biggest studios in Hollywood history. But even they release a flop every now and then. Here are some of their most notorious bombs — along with a few titles whose failure at the box office might surprise you.