HBO Max: December Most-Streamed Month Since May 2020 Service Launch

December marked HBO Max’s most-viewed month since its launch in May 2020 in terms of hours viewed, due in part to a programming lineup that included originals shows “And Just Like That …” and “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” finales of HBO series “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Insecure,” and movies The Matrix Resurrections and King Richard.

December kicked off with the final episodes of “Sex Lives of College Girls,” which delivered a 76% jump in viewership from its series premiere. The half-hour comedy has proven to be a top performer ranking as the second-best start for a Max original comedy on the platform only behind “And Just Like That …” and No. 2 in the European Union and Latin America among Max original half-hour series.

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The “Sex in the City” relaunch continued its reign throughout the month as the No. 1 series on Max in the U.S., E.U. and Latin America since its release. The new chapter remains the best start for any series to-date on the platform and has been the top series every week since its debut. Viewership of its most recent episodes on Dec. 30 spiked nearly 20% from the week prior for its largest single-day audience since it debuted. The original series, “Sex and the City,” also saw viewership highs throughout December.

The finale of “Succession” delivered a series-high across all platforms with total viewing increasing 47% versus the season two finale, 21% from the season three premiere and 8% from the prior week’s episode.

The final two Warner Bros. Pictures films to debut on Max the same day as their theatrical premieres were The Matrix Resurrections and King Richard, both debuting to strong viewership. Resurrections closed out the month securing a top four spot among the studio’s day-and-date films for the year. It was the most-watched film overall on Max in December, boosting viewing to previous films in “The Matrix” franchise as well.

The momentum continued into the New Year with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint appearing on the “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” the highly anticipated retrospective celebrating one of the top film franchises of all time.

The show debuted as the platform’s top title overall for the week in the U.S., E.U., and Latin America, despite only being available for two days. It had the second-best start of any special on Max, ranking only behind “Friends: The Reunion.” Additionally, new series “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” and the “Harry Potter” movies all experienced a strong halo effect from the arrival of the special, with the new competition series ranking 3rd among all series on Max over the weekend and all eight movies ranking among the Top 15 movies in the week and seeing double digit gains versus the prior week.

HBO Max Bows Newly Remastered HD Version of ‘Sex and the City’

HBO Max is working on a “Sex and the City” series relaunch. In the meantime, the SVOD platform Feb. 12 launched a newly remastered HD version of the classic HBO series.

This new version marks the first time that the iconic series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon will be available in 16:9 full frame aspect ratio, giving viewers a greater, extended frame for widescreen viewing. With more resolution, the series will be seen in a whole new way, offering enhanced and richer color and additional depth that was not possible in standard definition.

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The series was originally shot on film and mastered in standard-definition as high-definition capabilities were unavailable at the time. Over the past year, the series was updated from scratch as film negatives from the show were scanned at 4K to create HD masters.

The new HD version of the series gives Max subscribers the opportunity to watch or re-watch episodes ahead of the next chapter, “And Just Like That …”—  which kicks-off production in New York City this spring.

Meanwhile, Max is offering a limited time savings of 20% when prepaying for six months, now available through March 1.

HBO Max Working on ‘Sex and the City’ Limited Series Revival

HBO Max Jan. 10 announced it has given a limited series order for “And Just Like That,” a revival of the groundbreaking (1998-2004) HBO series “Sex and the City,” which starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall.

The new Max Original series is based on the book “Sex and the City” by Candice Bushnell as well as the original TV series, which was created by Darren Star and won seven Emmys and eight Golden Globes. The series spawned two feature-length movies in 2008 and 2010 that generated a combined $709 million at the worldwide box office.

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The new Max series will follow Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. The 10-episode, half-hour series is scheduled to begin production in New York late spring.

“I grew up with these characters, and I can’t wait to see how their story has evolved in this new chapter, with the honesty, poignancy, humor and the beloved city that has always defined them,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, said in a statement.

Noticeably missing from the reboot: Cattrall, who famously played Samantha Jones on the original series, but has long stated little desire to reprise the role.