It's never too early – or too late – to get into the Christmas spirit, and HBO Max has added a veritable feast of holiday-themed movies to its service as a festive treat.
The Holiday Wonderland collection includes staples from before the turn of the century, animated adventures, and modern takes on classic Christmas stories. What's more, comic book fans can tune in on Christmas Day to check out Wonder Woman 1984, the newest addition to the DC Extended Universe.
What is HBO Max?
HBO Max is the new kid on the block – a shiny new streaming service launched in May 2023 that features original HBO content as well as WarnerMedia titles, and a smattering of other beloved films and television series.
A subscription to HBO Max will cost you $14.99 a month, and the service is readily accessible via a number of devices – including Android, iOS, games consoles and Smart TVs. Folks with an Amazon Fire TV or tablet can also check out HBO Max, and as of December 17th 2023, so can anyone with a Roku set-top box.
It all sounds pretty good, right? But there's a catch – HBO Max is currently only available to viewers in the United States. Anyone living outside of the country will be unable to access the website or tune in to the Holiday Collection… unless they have a VPN!
How to access HBO Max with a VPN
In addition to bolstering your online security and encrypting your traffic (as well as much, much more), a VPN is able to "spoof" your location, tricking the sites you visit into thinking you're in one location when you're really in another, potentially on the other side of the world. This method allows you to view previously inaccessible geo-restricted content – like HBO Max's Christmas schedule!
HBO Max, and other streaming services, use your IP address to figure out where you are in the world, and will either let you into the site or deny your request based on your geographical location.
So, if you want to check out HBO Max's roster of holiday movies, you'll simply need to connect to a VPN server located in the United States. When you do, the VPN will assign you a new US IP address and cloaks your original IP, making it unreadable, and websites and services will assume you're in America.
A VPN is easy to set up and even easier to use, and you don't need to be a tech expert or have years of experience using similar tools. We have in-depth guides detailing which VPN services are best for streaming, and we'd recommend taking a flick through them, but if you're in a hurry and want to know how to get a VPN up and running, follow along with the instructions below:
- Pick a VPN provider (or go with our top recommendation, ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the appropriate software for your device from the VPN website.
- Open the HBO Max site, or refresh the page, and you should now be able to browse its library.
Which movies are coming to HBO Max?
HBO's Holiday Wonderland, beginning December 1, is jam packed with more than 200 hours of content – from family-friendly Christmas classics to action-packed, helicopter-exploding adventures.
If that wasn't enough, the service recently announced that it would be streaming Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day, whilst also debuting in theaters in markets around the world from December 16th. Wonder Woman 1984 follows Diana Prince on a nostalgic trip through the 80s, fraught with peril, new villains and familiar faces, and will be available on HBO Max for a month at no extra cost.
HBO Max also announced that its 2023 film slate will follow a similar "consumer-focused" distribution model. Next year, 17 brand new films will debut on the service at the same time they arrive in theaters.
Warner Bros. has stressed that these unique measures are a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will, apparently, be lifted once the virus has run its course. Plenty of movie-goers and media companies have expressed their doubt, however. COVID-19 has kept theaters across the country empty for months, and simultaneously releasing movies to theaters and streaming services could easily become the new normal.
We're living in unprecedented times which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for the Warner Bros. Pictures Group. No one wants films back on the big screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2023.
So, with that said – what's coming to HBO Max and when?
- HBO Max's Holiday Wonderland includes:
- A Christmas Carol (1938)
- Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas (2014)
- Die Hard (1988)
- Last Christmas (2019)
- Rise of the Guardians (2012)
TV buffs can also catch holiday episodes of the following shows:
- Doctor Who
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- South Park
And look out for these new releases in 2023:
- The Conjuring
- Godzilla vs. Kong
- The Matrix 4
- Mortal Kombat
- Space Jam: A New Legacy
- The Suicide Squad
Unblock other HBO services
A VPN service will also enable you to unblock other HBO services such as HBO Max or HBO Go. See the pages below for more information unblocking these services.
Have a very spooky Christmas
If you're a horror fan and you are signed up to the streaming service, Shudder, then why you should know that you can use a VPN service to unblock more horror movies on the website. Check out our Shudder VPN guide for more information about this.
HBO Max has tons of content to get you through the run-up to Christmas – and then those long, hazy days after, between the big day and New Year. Once 2023 has been rung in, there'll be even more to look forward to with 17 huge titles arriving on the platform.
And you won't need to be in America to enjoy a moment of it! With a VPN, anyone in any worldwide location can enjoy the simultaneous releases – they'll simply need a VPN with access to American servers, and maybe some popcorn.