Cinemax, sometimes abbreviated as simply "Max", is a collection of premium television networks that broadcasts primarily feature films, along with softcore erotica, original action series, documentaries and special behind-the-scenes features. Cinemax is operated by Home Box Office, Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner. The channel's name is a portmanteau of "cinema" and "maximum". As of August 2011, Cinemax's programming is available to 16.7 million subscribers in the United States. <ref>Solid Start For ‘Strike Back’ On Cinemax, Lifetime’s ‘Against The Wall’ Inches Up</ref>
Cinemax launched on August 1, 1980<ref>"2nd Cable Movie Service From Home Box Office", New York Times, July 31, 1980. Retrieved March 29, 2009.</ref> as HBO's answer to The Movie Channel (at the time, The Movie Channel was owned by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, a joint venture between Time Warner predecessor Warner Communications and American Express; that channel is now owned by CBS Corporation through its Showtime Networks unit). Unlike HBO (and most cable and over-the-air broadcast channels already on the air at the time it launched), Cinemax broadcast 24 hours a day from the day it signed on the air (HBO had only broadcast about nine hours of programming a day from 3 p.m. to midnight ET until September 1981, when it began broadcasting a 24-hour schedule on weekends until midnight ET on Sunday nights; it did not start airing 24 hours on weekdays until December 28 of that year).
On-air spokesman Robert Culp told viewers that Cinemax would be about movies, and nothing but movies. At the time, HBO featured a wider range of programming, including some news, documentaries, children's entertainment, sporting events, and entertainment specials. Movie classics were a mainstay of the channel at its birth, "all uncut and commercial-free" as Culp said on-air. A heavy schedule of films from the 1950s to the 1970s made up most of Cinemax's program schedule.
Cinemax succeeded in its early years because cable subscribers typically had access to only about three dozen channels. Movies were the most sought-after program category by cable subscribers, and the fact Cinemax would show classics without commercials and editing made the channel an attractive add-on for HBO subscribers. In many cases, cable operators would not sell Cinemax to non-HBO subscribers. The two channels were typically sold as a package, usually at a discount for subscribers choosing both. A typical price for HBO in the early 1980s was $12.95 per month, while Cinemax typically could be added for between $7–10 extra per month.
Template:Multiple image In 1983, Cinemax's parent company Time-Life Inc. (which merged with Warner Communications in 1989 to form the present-day Time Warner), had filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against then-independent station KOKI (channel 23, now a Fox affiliate) in Tulsa, Oklahoma and its owners Tulsa 23, Ltd. over the use of the slogan "We Are Your Movie Star" (which was Cinemax's slogan at that time). However, Cinemax lost the case in Federal District Court to KOKI. As additional movie-oriented channels launched on cable, Cinemax's programming philosophy began to change to try and maintain its subscriber base. First, the channel opted to carry more violent fare that HBO would only show at night, and then Cinemax decided it could compete by airing more adult-oriented movies that contained nudity and strong sexual content.
During the network's first decade on the air, Cinemax had also aired some original music programming, during the mid-to-late 1980s, upon the meteoric rise in popularity of MTV, Cinemax tried its hand at airing music videos by airing an interstitial between films called Max Tracks, it also ran music specials under the banner Cinemax Sessions during that same time period.<ref>'Fats Domino and Friends' on Cable, The New York Times, July 31, 1986.</ref> The mid and late 1980s also saw Cinemax include a very limited amount of television series on its schedule including the sketch-comedy series Second City Television (whose U.S. broadcast rights Cinemax had acquired from NBC in 1983) and the science fiction series Max Headroom (which had also aired on ABC from 1987 to 1988). Despite these programming additions, Cinemax had remained foremost a movie channel. In February 1988, the premiere broadcast of the 1987 action-comedy film Lethal Weapon became the highest rated telecast in Cinemax's history at that time, averaging a 16.9 rating and 26 share.<ref>Cinemax shows strength as it turns 10, HighBeam Research (via Multichannel News), September 3, 1990.</ref>
Later on starting in 1992, Cinemax re-entered into the carriage of television series with the addition of adult-oriented scripted series similar in content to the adult films that are featured in the late night timeslots, such as the network's first original adult series Erotic Confessions, and later series entries such as Hot Line, Passion Cove, Lingerie and Co-Ed Confidential. From 1992 to 1997, Cinemax aired one movie each day of the week that would be centered around a certain genre, represented by various pictures that would play in a specialized feature presentation bumper before the start of the movie;<ref name="Cinemax makeover">Little brother Cinemax gets extensive makeover, HighBeam Research (via Multichannel News), November 2, 1992</ref><ref>Cinemax Monday Comedy Movie Intro</ref> the symbols included: Comedy (represented by an abstract face made up of various movie props, with the mouth open to look like it is laughing), Suspense (represented by a running man silhouette), Premiere (represented by an exclamation point caught in spotlights), Horror (represented by a skull), Drama (represented by abstract comedy & tragedy masks)<ref>Cinemax Drama Intro</ref>, Vanguard (represented by a globe), Action (represented by a machine gun) and Classic (represented by a classic movie-era couple embracing and kissing). The particular film genre that played on what day (and time) varied by country. Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2 In the United States:
- Monday, 8 p.m. ET: Comedy
- Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET: Suspense
- Wednesday (originally Friday), 8 p.m. ET: Vanguard<ref name="polishes">Cinemax polishes marketing efforts, HighBeam Research (via Multichannel News), December 13, 1993</ref>
- Thursday, 8 p.m. ET: Drama (originally Horror)<ref name="polishes"/>
- Friday (originally Wednesday),<ref name="polishes"/> 8 p.m. ET: Premiere
- Saturday, 10 p.m. ET (originally 11:30 p.m. ET):<ref name="polishes"/> Action
- Sunday, Noon ET: Classic
Template:Col-2 In Latin America:
- Monday: Comedy
- Tuesday: Classic
- Wednesday: Drama
- Thursday: Horror / Suspense
- Friday: Vanguard
- Saturday: Premiere
- Sunday: Action
These genre-based movie presentations ended upon the channel's 1997 rebranding, when Cinemax's only themed movie presentation became a featured movie every night at 8 p.m. ET and a primetime movie nightly at 10 p.m. ET.<ref>Cinemax Pay TV Network to Cater to Movie Fan Viewers, The Free Library, Retrieved 1-12-2011.</ref> Upon their launches in 1998, Cinemax offered viewers "sneak preview" blocks of programming that could be seen on ActionMax and ThrillerMax in primetime on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. By the mid-2000s, the classic films from the 1960s and earlier that had been broadcast on Cinemax from its launch were relegated to some of its multiplex channels, and have become prominent on its multiplex service, 5StarMax. Today, a large majority of mainstream films featured on Cinemax are from the 1990s to present, with some films from the 1970s and 1980s included on the schedule. In 2001, Cinemax began to change its feature film focus from a channel that airs second-run feature films that previously were broadcast by sister channel HBO before their Cinemax debut, to one that premieres select blockbuster and lesser-known theatrical films before their HBO debut.<ref>Umstead, R. Thomas, "Cinemax Breaks Out with Blockbuster Premieres", Multichannel News, May 14, 2001. Retrieved February 25, 2011 from HighBeam Research.</ref>
In February 2011, it was announced that Cinemax will begin to offer mainstream original programming to compete with sister channel HBO, and rivals Showtime and Starz; the channel is slated to develop action-oriented original mainstream series aimed at males ages 18-49. The decision is also in part due to competition from other on-demand movie services such as Netflix, and to change Cinemax's image from a channel mostly known for its softcore pornographic series and movies. The channel's adult programming will remain, however, continuing to appear on its late night schedule.<ref>HBO's stealth plan to kill off 'Skinemax', The New York Post, February 14, 2011.</ref>
Cinemax operates eight multiplex channels. All channels (with the exception of Wmax) have separate "East/West" feeds for the Eastern and Central time zones and Pacific and Mountain time zones of the United States, respectively. Cinemax also packages the East and West feeds of the primary and multiplex channels together, allowing viewers a second chance to watch the same program three hours later or earlier depending on their geographic location (for West Coast viewers, this gives viewers a chance to see a program as it airs on the East Coast before it airs on the West Coast feed).
List of channels
ActionMax redirects here. For the 1980s video game system, see Action Max.
In 1991, HBO and Cinemax became the first premium services to offer multiplexed services to cable customers as companions to the main network, offering multiplex services of HBO and Cinemax to three TeleCable systems in Racine, Wisconsin, Overland Park, Kansas, and Richardson and Plano, Texas.<ref>HBO: three channels are better than one, Multichannel News (via HighBeam Research), May 13, 1991.</ref><ref>HBO begins to plex muscles; Home Box Office Inc. tests its multiplexing scheme, Multichannel News (via HighBeam Research), August 5, 1991.</ref> A year later, research from Nielsen Media Research showed that multiplex delivery of HBO and Cinemax had positive impact on subscriber usage and attitudes, including subscribers’ retention of pay cable subscriptions. Cinemax 2 was launched as a multiplex channel, launching on these three systems.
Cinemax currently operates eight multiplex channels:<ref>Cinemax Official Site - About Cinemax</ref>
- Cinemax: The main "flagship" feed; blockbuster movies, first-run films, favorite movies and erotica; premieres new movies on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. ET as part of "See It Saturday", and broadcasts a featured movie Sunday through Fridays at 10 p.m. ET.
- MoreMax: a secondary channel with similar content to Cinemax, also includes foreign films, indie flicks and arthouse releases; broadcasts a featured movie every night at 9 p.m. ET; originally known as "Cinemax 2" from 1991 until 1998.
- ActionMax: Action movies including blockbusters, westerns, war pictures and martial arts films; features "Heroes at 8", a featured action movie nightly at 8 p.m. ET; originally known as "Cinemax 3" from 1995 to 1998.
- ThrillerMax: Mystery, suspense, horror and thriller movies; features "When the Clock Strikes 10", a different featured mystery, suspense or thriller, nightly at 10 p.m. ET; launched in 1998.
- @Max: Targeted to the 18-34 demographic, features contemporary films, movies with an attitude exemplified and films with unique ideas; features a choice movie every night at 11 p.m. ET; launched in 2001.<ref name="Plex">Reynolds, Mike. "Cinemax Keys HBO Plex Patrol", Cable World, January 15, 2001. Retrieved February 24, 2011 from HighBeam Research.</ref>
- OuterMax: Sci-fi, horror and fantasy films; features "Graveyard Shift", a featured sci-fi or horror movie every night at 12 a.m. ET; launched in 2001.<ref name="Plex"/>
- Wmax: Targeted at women, features dramas, mysteries and classic romance pictures; broadcasts a featured movie appealing to women every night at 10 p.m. ET.; launched in 2001.<ref name="Plex"/> One of only two Cinemax channels that does not air Max After Dark content.
- 5StarMax: Modern classics, featuring award-winning films and timeless treasures; broadcasts a featured classic every night at 9 p.m. ET; launched in 2001.<ref name="Plex"/> One of only two Cinemax channels that does not air Max After Dark content.
The Cinemax Multiplex was known as "MultiMax" for several years, but now has no "official" name. However, HBO and Cinemax's respective multiplex packages are referred collectively as the "HBO/MAX Pak". Subscribers of DirecTV, Dish Network and some cable providers can get the Cinemax networks without subscribing to HBO, though most cable providers offer the two services and their respective multiplexes as a single package.
All eight Cinemax multiplex channels are simulcast in 1080i high definition, and the flagship network began transmitting its programming exclusively in high definition on September 1, 2008.<ref>Engadget Cinemax to go all HD September 1</ref> Cinemax HD is available on Dish Network, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Comcast, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and other major cable providers, although few providers offer all eight multiplex channels in HD.
Cinemax On Demand
Cinemax On Demand is the video-on-demand counterpart to Cinemax. It offers movies, original series and special features previously seen on the network. It is available on most cable and satellite providers at no additional cost to subscribers of Cinemax.
On September 13, 2010, Cinemax launched Max Go, a website which features 700 hours of content available for streaming in standard or high definition, at no additional charge to Cinemax subscribers. Content includes feature films, documentaries, and late night adult programming featured on Cinemax's Max After Dark block.<ref>HBO's Cinemax MAX GO launches online, HD Report, Retrieved 1-12-2011.</ref> It is available to Cinemax subscribers of AT&T Uverse,<ref>HBO GO, MAX GO now available on AT&T's U-verse, Engadget HD, Retrieved 1-12-2010.</ref> Cox Communications,<ref>Cox makes TV Everywhere launch official CED Magazine May 10, 2011</ref> DirecTV,<ref>DIRECTV to Launch HBO GO® and MAX GO®, April 12th DirecTV Press Release April 11, 2011</ref> Dish Network,<ref>Dish Network Offers HBO GO® and MAX GO®, Presenting More Than 1,800 On-Demand Movies and Original Series to Online Customers Dish Network Press Release April 21, 2011</ref> Suddenlink Communications,<ref>Suddenlink Takes HBO And Cinemax To Go Multichannel News April 26, 2011</ref> and Charter Communications.<ref>Charter Officially Delivers HBO, Cinemax To Go Multichannel News July 21, 2011</ref> The Max Go iPhone, iPad, and Android app was released on August 11, 2011.<ref>HBO Clears MAX Go Mobile Apps For Liftoff Multichannel News August 12, 2011</ref>
Template:As of, Cinemax (through sister network HBO) has exclusive deals with Warner Bros. Pictures (and subsidiaries Warner Bros. Animation, New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment, all of which are owned by Cinemax corporate parent Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment division), DreamWorks Animation (which lasts until 2013, at which time the Netflix streaming service will assume pay-TV rights),<ref>Template:Cite news</ref><ref>Deal with Dreamworks. Retrieved April 6, 2010.</ref> 20th Century Fox (and subsidiaries 20th Century Fox Animation and Fox Searchlight Pictures) and Universal Studios (and subsidiaries Universal Animation Studios, Working Title Films, Illumination Entertainment and Focus Features). Starting in 2013, Cinemax will also obtain rights to films distributed by Summit Entertainment through a four-year licensing agreement with HBO that will run until 2017, upon the expiration of Summit's exclusive licensing deal with Showtime.<ref>HBO and Summit Entertainment Enter Into Exclusive Output Agreement The Futon Critic May 26, 2011</ref>
Cinemax (through HBO) also shows sub-runs (runs of films that have already received broadcast network/syndicated television releases) of theatrical films from Paramount Pictures (usually those released prior to 1997), Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group (including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax), Sony Pictures Entertainment (including Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures), Twentieth Century Fox (select films from all five studios are shared with Starz and Encore), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, DreamWorks Pictures (those made prior to the 2010 shift of film distribution rights from Paramount to Touchstone Pictures), and Lionsgate Entertainment.
Usually films which HBO has pay-cable rights to will also run on Cinemax during the period of its term of license, although some feature films from the aforementioned studios that Cinemax and HBO have broadcast rights to make their premium television debut on Cinemax several weeks before its premiere on HBO.
Cinemax had for some time continued to air films from the 1950s, '60s and '70s in the morning hours, but these movies for the most part have since been relegated to MoreMax and 5StarMax. Cinemax rarely airs G-rated films during the morning hours, instead opting to air R, PG-13 or PG rated films. Max also produces documentary programming under the banner Max Reel Life. Cinemax has also ran since 1992, an annual film festival called The Summer of 1000 Movies,<ref>Cinemax plots a 'grand' summer, HighBeam Research (via Multichannel News), February 17, 1992.</ref><ref>Some Cinemax Movie Promos and Graphics ...</ref> in which the channel claims to run 1000 films (many with a similar subject) over the course of each summer.
Max After Dark
Max After Dark is a late night adult programming block featuring licensed softcore pornography films and series. There are no set start or end times for the block, as they vary depending on the mainstream feature films (and original series on certain nights) that precede it and which programs are scheduled to air within the block. The main Cinemax channel generally does not air any adult programming before 11:30 p.m. ET, a policy enacted by the network in 1993.<ref name="Cinemax makeover"/> The block originally debuted on May 4, 1984 as a once-a-week block called "Cinemax Friday After Dark"; by the late 1990s, these adult programs were expanded to seven-night-a-week airings.<ref>HBO/Cinemax Guide, May 1984</ref> Most of the programs aired during the block carry either a TV-MA or R rating (usually the former), primarily for strong sexual content and nudity.
The late night adult series that currently air first-run episodes are Co-Ed Confidential, Forbidden Science, Lingerie, Life on Top, Femme Fatales, Chemistry, Skin to the Max and The Girl's Guide to Depravity.<ref>Cinemax Official Site - Max After Dark</ref> Adult films also typically air alongside the adult series, though depending on the Cinemax multiplex channel and which programs are scheduled that night on each channel, this may not always be the case. The program block has often been the subject of both scrutiny in the media and a source of humor in popular culture, with references to Cinemax's late night programming having been featured in various films and TV shows. Because of the block's presence, Cinemax is most commonly given the jocular nickname outside the network, "Skinemax".<ref name=skinemax>Template:Cite news</ref> The network itself has acknowledged this by using a play on this term for its 2011 documentary series, Skin to the Max.
Adult programming is not limited solely to the main Cinemax network: MoreMax also airs adult movies and series, sometimes airing an hour earlier than the main Cinemax channel would allow, airing at times as early as 10:30 p.m. ET; ActionMax, ThrillerMax and OuterMax also occasionally feature some adult films featured on the "Max After Dark" block, despite the fact that those channels are genre-based multiplex services and not all softcore adult films and series featured on Max After Dark fit those networks' respective formats. Conversely, Wmax and 5StarMax generally do not run adult films of any kind due to those channels' respective formats: Wmax is aimed at women, while 5StarMax features a format of largely critically acclaimed, mainstream feature films. Some of the adult films featured on the Max After Dark block also air late nights on sister channel HBO Zone, which is the only HBO channel to feature pornographic film content.
Mainstream original programming
On August 12, 2011, Cinemax launched its original programming content outside of the licensed Max After Dark programming , with the addition of action-oriented series targeted at males 18-49, to its primetime schedule; on that date, Cinemax debuted its first mainstream original program, the U.S. premiere of the British action series Strike Back (first-run episodes of the series aired by Cinemax during its 2011 season were from the show's second season, the series originally debuted on Sky1 in the United Kingdom, which Home Box Office, Inc./Cinemax partnered with to produce the series after the conclusion of its first season, in 2010).<ref> 'Strike Back' teaser: Cinemax guns for '24' magic -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO Entertainment Weekly July 8, 2011</ref> On October 19, 2012, Cinemax introduced their second primetime original series, Hunted, in cooperation with BBC One<ref name=tvwise2>Template:Cite web</ref>. Series scheduled to premiere in 2013 and/or are currently in development include Transporter: The Series, <ref> Cinemax ‘Transporter’ Series Rounds Out Cast, Hires ‘Lost’ Director for Pilot Screen Rant June 24, 2011</ref> Alan Ball's Banshee <ref>Cinemax Prepping Amish Country Series Executive Produced by Alan Ball Deadline.com August 11, 2011</ref> and Steve Kronish's Sandbox.<ref>Cinemax Developing Action Vigilante Drama Deadline.com August 31, 2011</ref>
Cinemax's original 1980 logo featured the channel's name with first letter in mixed case letters in Avant Garde typeface on a semi-circular rectangle; the "Coming Up Next" bumpers and graphics were similar to parent network HBO's graphics of the concurring time.<ref>1984 CINEMAX "Movie Classic" Graphics ...</ref> In 1985, the channel adopted a new logo rendered in lowercase italicized Universe Condensed type with each letter on a slanted square sized to fit each letter. Variants of the logo used different coloring, and updated "Coming Up Next" bumpers between 1985 and 1997; this logo was used in print ads and during bumpers for a short time while the original 1980 opening bumpers were used, before a new feature presentation opener was added in the fall of 1985. In 1997, the network rebranded and implemented a logo rendered in lowercase Impact type with a circle placed behind the 'max' (as with Showtime's highlighting of 'SHO' in their logo, the use of 'MAX' as the logo focal point comes from the channel's former TV Guide abbreviation in the magazine's local listings era). Slight modifications of the logo's coloring were made during this period; the logo was often shown with just the circle 'max'.
In February 2008, a new sparse and bare branding campaign was introduced, with voiceovers for movie promotions and ratings bumpers fully withdrawn from all Cinemax networks. The promotions featured Adult Swim-style introductions with white text on black screens, while 'up next' screens just featured the film name and stars with only sound effects and small snippets of music playing instead of full interstitial music. All channel logos were redesigned -- and most notably, the main Cinemax channel became visually referred to as simply "max", though in some ads, cast members from the network's "After Dark" series continued to refer the network vocally as Cinemax, and ads promoting Cinemax outside the channel continued to use the original 1997 logo design (though a variant without the circle behind the 'max' was used from 2010 to 2011).
In August 2011, Cinemax introduced a new logo in line with promotional efforts for Strike Back, with a diagonal-cut yellow line with uppercase black "CINEMAX" lettering; only the "MAX" portion is used for Cinemax on Demand and Max Go (for both services, a tilted black box is added next to the yellow/black "MAX" to fit either "OD" [for "on demand"] or "GO"), along with the linear multiplex channels (for the multiplex channels, the prefix titles for each channel are added before it with no line treatment). It was originally unveiled in on-air promos for its upcoming original programming, on its Facebook and Twitter accounts and on its YouTube channel in May 2011.<ref>Cinemax (Official Page) Facebook (Uploaded May 16, 2011)</ref><ref>Cinemax's Channel - YouTube (accessed August 6, 2011)</ref> The official and Max Go websites continued to use the 2008 version of the 1997 logo until August 11, 2011, when the two sites got an extensive redesign. Despite the rebrand, Cinemax's multiplex channels (with the exception of the main channel and MoreMax, which do not use any on-screen watermarking whatsoever) confusingly continue to feature logo bugs using the 1997-era logo during films and other programs.
- 1980–1982: The 24-Hour Movie Network<ref>1981 Cinemax Graphics and Promos!!</ref>
- 1982–1983: We Are Your Movie Star<ref>Cinemax Commercial 1983</ref>
- 1983–1984: Our Difference is Our Movies<ref>Early Cinemax poster</ref>
- 1984–1986: We Take You to the Stars<ref>Cinemax Ad</ref>
- 1986–1989: Entertainment to the Max<ref>Cinemax Sessions: Fats Domino & Friends (Fri 7/25/86)</ref>
- 1988–1989: See the Light, See Cinemax<ref>Cinemax Promos + Movie Open 1989</ref>
- 1989–1991: More Movies, More Choice<ref>Cinemax promos & bumpers 1989</ref>
- 1989–1997: Cinemax, The Most Movies on Pay TV (used as a secondary slogan)
- 1991–1993: Cinemax, If You Like Movies<ref>Cinemax - Exodus 1992</ref>
- 1993–1997: The Best Network for Movies on TV
- 1997–2000: The Movie Service for the Movie Fan
- 2000–2003: Best! Most! Max!
- 2003–2008: Take It to the Movies
- 2008–2011: Take It to the Max
- 2011-2012: We Are Your Movie Channel
- 2012-Present: Max. In Movies (US, South Korea, Latin America, Europe)
In Latin America, the channel is controlled by the HBO Latin America Group. A sister channel, "Max Prime", is also available. In 2010, the premium Cinemax channel was converted into an ad-supported basic cable movie channel, while two new premium channels (Max and Max HD) followed Cinemax's league by airing independent films, European movies, etc. A European version of Cinemax is known as Cinemax 2.
- Template:Official website
- Cinemax Europe (Hungarian-language)
- Cinemax Latin America (Spanish-language)
- Cinemax Asia
Template:U.S. premium television services Template:U.S. movie television channels Template:MAX After Dark Template:Time Warnercs:Cinemax de:Cinemax es:Cinemax fr:Cinemax hr:Cinemax id:Max TV hu:Cinemax ms:Cinemax nl:Cinemax pl:Cinemax pt:Cinemax ro:Cinemax sk:Cinemax fi:Cinemax tr:Cinemax zh:Cinemax