Whether it’s on-screen or behind the curtains, there’s nothing the modern entertainment industry loves more than a good ol’ fashioned team-up. Luckily for us, the one Universal and sister streaming service Peacock just formed is pretty damn powerful, and great for those of us still hesitant to visit theaters. Earlier today, Universal Film Entertainment Group stated all their upcoming feature films will hit Peacock no later than four months after their theatrical release.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this decision was made in an effort to “grow the streamer’s subscriber base” and accelerate “what’s traditionally referred to as the pay-one home entertainment window, which — in pre-pandemic times — didn’t kick in for six to seven months.” With all the extra income Universal and Peacock are anticipating from this move, the pair hope to work together to make original films for the streaming service. While no specific titles were announced, the report stated the projects are expected to begin debuting on Peacock sometime in 2022.
Now, while it might sound like this is all an attempt for Universal and Peacock to outdo the competition with their own collection of exclusive films, as of right now that’s not entirely the pair’s gameplan. Turns out, Universal isn’t resigning their films to solely existing on Peacock. According to reports, the studio is adopting an 18-month cycle. For both the first and last four months of a film’s cycle, they will be streaming exclusively on Peacock. However, during the ten months in middle, the films will be available on other services that have yet to be disclosed. Interestingly enough, HBO — Universal’s current pay-one partner — isn’t believed to be one of them.
If all goes according to plan, this partnership could help keep Peacock afloat. It’s no secret that since the streaming service launched just over a year ago, it’s struggled to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney+. Whereas both Netflix and Disney+ have about 208 million and 103.6 million paid subscribers respectively, Peacock sits at just about 10 million. Just this past April, Peacock/NBCU’s parent company Comcast disclosed it is expecting losses of $2 billion in 2020 and 2021 as it invests in the streaming service.
As far as what else lies ahead for Universal, the studio does have quite a few big blockbusters scheduled for release in the next year. These titles include Jurassic World: Dominion, a new original film from Jordan Peele, DreamWorks Animation’ The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots, The Last Wish, and Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. Here’s hoping we catch them on Peacock soon.