Big Movies May Find A Home At Streamers, Not Movie Theaters

Movie studios continue to mull different distribution for some theatrical movies -- especially with growing TV streaming services. Are those platforms reaching higher ground?

This will occur even as theatrical movie chains have successfully put the kibosh on movies looking for shorter-theatrical windows or, even more daring, day-and-date premieres with streamers.

Now, to be fair, none of these attempts, now or in the near term, will be for big franchise movie series like “Avengers,” “Spider-Man” or “Star Wars.” Studios are getting realistic with their having-their-cake-and-eating-it-too thinking.

What if they just didn’t consider a theatrical window at all for some movies?  

Sony Pictures Entertainment is considering this with a movie in development since 2007 -- “Masters of the Universe.” Sony is mulling a somewhat risk-free deal in making it for Netflix, according to reports.



Imagine the scenario: New streaming services from big TV-media studio companies -- Walt Disney’s “Disney +, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max; and NBCUniversal’s Peacock, as well as Apple TV+ -- are expected to dramatically ramp up production dollars.

Competition wins out. Analysts say Netflix is set to spend $13 billion on all content -- original and acquired. Amazon is looking at a $7 billion content spend level, as is Hulu. Apple looks to go to $6 billion spend.

Not only is TV-movie production spend growing with streamers, but some want to consider making high-profile theatrical movies on TV a scheduled event. The Hollywood Reporter says Netflix want to make a “tentpole” movie every quarter.

Netflix has already dipped its toes in the water when it comes to a movie on a TV-streaming service debuting just a few weeks after an in-theater movie release. Think "Roma." A typical major studio release window can be 90 days. Netflix and others would like a much shorter time frame, with the ultimate near-term goal being day-and-date streaming and theater release.

Netflix’s highly touted upcoming movie “The Irishman” -- debuting November 1 -- will give a select number of theaters an exclusive four-week window before moving the film to the subscription video-on-demand service.

As such, big-time streaming services look to grab higher-profile big-brand TV and movie franchises with big-name producers/directors.

Streaming services and studios are searching for a new meeting ground.

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