Halloween Kills is the latest film to adopt the strategy of releasing in theaters and stream at the same time, slated for October 15. And while it may not be surprising considering the coronavirus pandemic and the delta variant is still impacting the globe, it’s still a fascinating case study for a studio willing to adapt its release schedule to better fit the times we live in.
As detailed in an interview with Collider, Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum actually revealed it was his idea to have the simultaneous release both in theaters and streaming on Peacock, saying it was inspired by the tumultuous rollout of the critically acclaimed, but sadly underperforming horror-comedy Freaky in November 2020.
“It was my idea to do it. [Peacock] didn’t approach me. I approached them. I, like everyone else, am a big believer in the theatrical experience. I think eventually I think there should be windows. I think Universal’s strategy of the three-week window is a great strategy, but I had a bad distribution experience with Freaky. That movie is a great movie, and it didn’t get seen because the distribution of it got all twisted up. My fault.”
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And while Halloween Kills has the name recognition of its franchise and a box office hit of a 2018 first installment to back it up, it’s probably a safer bet to released it in this manner, as has been championed by distributers such as WarnerMedia/HBO Max and Disney/Disney Plus. Like those other streaming services, the film is only available to paid subscribers of Peacock.
It will be interesting to see if a platform like Peacock, which some may view as simply a vehicle to watch old episodes of The Office, can actually prove itself as a paid subscription service with this film being perhaps a draw for first-timers of the service.