Bob Bakish: Paramount Theatrical/Streaming Co-Releases Limited to Family Movies

Paramount Pictures’ theatrical release Paw Patrol: The Movie was the studio’s first concurrent box office/Paramount+ streaming debut — a strategy the studio plans to employ going forward on family movies, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish told an investor group.

Speaking Sept. 22 on the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Bakish said Paramount would stick to a shortened 45-day exclusive window for major releases such as A Quiet Place Part II, Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7.

The executive said the simultaneous release of Paw Patrol on Paramount+ made the movie the most-watched original title on the platform, and helped drive box office. The animated movie has generated $37.2 million in U.S. theaters, $103.3 million worldwide.

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“The combined release strategy drove incremental performance,” Bakish said. “We think that’s actually a good [distribution] model for kids and family films, particularly in these COVID times. It gives consumers optionality, where they feel most comfortable. We did a bunch of research on that.”

The CEO said Paw Patrol outperformed The Green Knight at the box office, despite the latter releasing exclusively in theaters. He said the concurrent release also helped Paramount “eventize” the movie’s release across ViacomCBS properties, including consumer products.

“We promoted Paw Patrol both in theaters and on Paramount+ on over 2 million [consumer product items] at retail,” Bakish said. “That, too, built excitement around it.”

The studio is also releasing the upcoming Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin and The Space Between exclusivity to Paramount+. The studio is also releasing the first two episodes of original Paramount+ crime drama “Mayor of Kingstown” on the Paramount Network before reverting exclusively to the streaming platform.

“We think exclusive availability, particularly at lower budget level movies, is a compelling value creation opportunity for streaming,” Bakish said.

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