Universal Movies Will Now Stream on Peacock 45 Days After Theatrical Debut

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Universal Pictures was one of the first studios to strike new theatrical distribution deals in the wake of the pandemic. This week, the studio took things a step further and officially incorporated its streaming service into those theatrical plans moving forward. Universal announced on Thursday that most of its theatrical films, beginning with its slate in 2022, will be made available on Peacock 45 days after their big screen debut.

Movies like spy thriller The 355 and Blumhouse’s highly anticipated horror film The Black Phone will fall under this new plan. Major tentpole projects, however, likely won’t arrive on Peacock right at the 45-day mark. It will take a little longer for movies like Jurassic World or Minions: The Rise of Gru.

This year, Universal used Peacock to make two of its bigger releases more widely available. The Boss Baby: Family Business and Halloween Kills both debuted on Peacock the same day they hit theaters nationwide. This new theatrical distribution plan ensures that Peacock will be a part of the release strategy moving forward, and incentivizes people to sign up for the service, but keeps an exclusive theatrical window alive moving forward. Granted, that window is much smaller now than it was before the pandemic.

“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content for Peacock, films are essential to that mix,” said Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock. “The team at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group are fantastic partners and we are excited to bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock as early as 45 days after their theatrical release, and provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

“Prioritizing the theatrical experience and eventizing our world class content remains the cornerstone of our business,” said Peter Levinsohn, Vice Chairman and Chief Distribution Officer, UFEG. “By ensuring our upcoming slate has both a theatrical window and timely Peacock debut, we satisfy the needs and expectations for key stakeholders across the spectrum, from our filmmakers and producing partners, to cinemagoers and Peacock subscribers.”

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Most major studios are working on some form of streaming plan for their films and exclusive services. Disney has a similar plan in place for its releases, though Marvel films will have a longer theatrical window, and 2022 movies from 20th Century Studios will be released on both Disney+ and HBO Max after their time in theaters.

What do you think of these new theatrical windows? Let us know in the comments!

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