Just two months before it was due to arrive in cinemas, action-comedy Superintelligence will now be released exclusively on HBO Max. Starring Melissa McCarthy and directed by her husband/frequent collaborator Ben Falcone, Superintelligence was all set for a December 20 release and was solid counter-programming against Star Wars. 

In recent years, movie studios have offloaded films on streaming platforms that they're unconvinced will make a decent profit. For example, Paramount's long-delayed (and over budget) Cloverfield Paradox was sold to Netflix after multiple release date changes and a budget that ballooned from $5 to $40 million. Paramount received a handsome fee, and Netflix got a reasonably high-profile title that was released within days of the deal being announced. However, Superintelligence has had no reported production troubles, and all of Falcone/McCarthy team-ups never cost more than $30 million. So, by all accounts, the move to HBO Max is to give the new paid-for service an exclusive.

Speaking about the shift from theatrical to streaming, Melissa McCarthy had this to say;

“It was actually Ben’s idea, it came from the filmmaker himself. We had a release date, a full marketing plan, and I had all my press lined up. We were really ready to go. When the announcement came that HBO Max was really happening, Ben had this idea. And we thought, is this better? Different doesn’t mean worse, and how are we watching films ourselves? To us, each movie is near and dear to our hearts. You just want people to see it and love it and you want them to feel good. Superintelligence at its core is, love wins, and people matter. I want that to get to as many people as it can. We need that today, and this seemed like the best way to do it. So no, [this wasn’t imposed on us]. We were ready to go the other way, and we decided to make the detour.”

Director Ben Falcone added; 

“I pride myself on living a fear-based life, and that won’t stop. I don’t exactly remember the question, but I wanted to make that clear to you, and to everyone. Honestly, you can release a mid-budget movie, and if we’d stayed in the theaters, we could have done incredibly well. There still are those examples of movies like this one that do. But for this movie, at this time, we felt like it was the best way to go. The PG rating, the fact they are starting this thing. All these streaming services are starting, and here, we are up there with Sesame Street, and Meryl Streep and JJ Abrams and Hugh Jackman and Jordan Peele. There are cool people doing this. So following my fear-based mentality, I thought it was the best move.”

Superintelligence will available on HBO Max when it launches next year.