Universal movies will head exclusively to Peacock after playing in theaters

Universal movies will head exclusively to Peacock after playing in theaters

Posted: Jul 6, 2021 4:41 PM
Updated: Jul 6, 2021 4:41 PM

Universal Pictures and Peacock announced that new films from the studio will head exclusively to NBCUniversal's nascent streaming service after they play in theaters.

Under a new licensing agreement, which starts with the 2022 theatrical slate, Universal's movies will be available exclusively on Peacock no later than four months after they debut in theaters.

The films will then play for four months exclusively on the service before heading to other services and then eventually landing back on Peacock. You can still buy or rent the film away from streaming, as usual.

Universal and Peacock share the same corporate parent, so the licensing deal isn't a huge surprise. But the announcement is notable because Universal has some of the most popular blockbuster franchises in film, such as Fast & Furious and Jurassic World.

Exclusive content is essential for streaming platforms in an increasingly fractured media market. Over the past two years, the explosion of new streaming services has led to a higher premium on movies and TV shows that can convert audiences into paid subscribers. Peacock, for example, has the incredibly popular sitcom "The Office" and offers different pricing tiers to hook new users.

Another way to entice consumers is to exclusively offer films like "Jurassic World: Dominion," the latest movie from Jordan Peele and the next installment from the Despicable Me brand, "Minions: The Rise of Gru" — all of which are on Universal's 2022 theatrical schedule.

That's why this deal matters.

Underscoring the importance of exclusive content, Universal also announced that it would develop and produce exclusive original films for Peacock starting in 2022.

Universal said that original films will "feature titles from some of the studio's established first-look filmmaking partners and compelling new voices in storytelling."

"Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year," Matt Strauss, the chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Universal is coming off a big weekend that had three of its films dominating the top of the box office.

"F9: The Fast Saga," which has made close to $500 million globally, "The Boss Baby: Family Business" and "The Forever Purge" notched the top three spots at the domestic box office last weekend.

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