NBCUniversal Dec. 9 announced a new theatrical window model that will see most movies from Universal Filmed Entertainment Group streaming exclusively on Peacock as early as 45 days after their theatrical and PVOD release. The new distribution model will begin with the studio’s 2022 film slate and will maintain the studio’s existing premium VOD deals with exhibitors.
With the beginning of the pandemic, Universal was one of the first studios to rejigger the traditional theatrical window, bowing some movies on premium VOD as early as 17 days after their box office debut, depending on ticket sales.
“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content for Peacock, films are essential to that mix,” Kelly Campbell, president of Peacock, said in a statement.
The 2022 theatrical slate features titles from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, including The 355, the hard-driving original approach to the globe-trotting espionage genre starring Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Bingbing Fan, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong’o; Ticket To Paradise, starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts; The Black Phone from Blumhouse Productions starring Ethan Hawke; Marry Me starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson; new movies from DreamWorks Animation including The Bad Guys; Downton Abbey: A New Era from Focus Features; Ambulance, the breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael Bay; and the final installment of the “Halloween” franchise, Hallowe
This year, Universal released select movies concurrently in theaters and on Peacock, including most-recently for Halloween Kills.
“Prioritizing the theatrical experience … remains the cornerstone of our business,” said Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer for 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.”
The new expanded windowing structure underscores NBCUniversal’s push to drive subscriber/user growth at Peacock, which continues to struggle adding paid subscribers.
Peacock, which launched 18 months ago, is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; Vizio SmartCast TVs, and LG Smart TVs.
Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers, can access Peacock Premium at no additional cost.