Paramount has shared that it’s liking the results of the 45-day theatrical exclusive, but no rule is written in stone.
Movie studios are having to make a lot of changes to how they do business due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some of the changes were short-term, some of the changes look as though they will be a bit more permanent.
Speaking with Wall Street analysts last week, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said that the operating environment is “a bit fluid” at the moment due to Covid. But even with that hurdle, the studio is looking to preserve the theatrical window.
Moving into 2022 Paramount plans on leaning heavily into its 45-day theatrical plan. Films will remain theatrical exclusives for 45 days from their release and then arrive on Paramount Plus. This is a massive reduction from the pre-pandemic window of 90 days before a film would move to a physical release and then on to streaming.
“The situation is a bit fluid,” Bakish said of the current Covid resurgance. “As a general principle, we do like the 45-day fast follow theatrical to pay-1. That is the overall direction we’d like to go over time. But we’ve got to look at each title in this pandemic and figure out what is the right strategy.”
Currently, Bakish is taking every film on a “case by case” basis, but younger fare is presenting the biggest issue, with a case in point being this month’s Pat Patrol. The film will debut day-and-date on Paramount Plus at no extra cost, but Clifford the Big Red Dog has been pulled from its Sept. release date.
“For families with young children right now in the middle of Covid, we wanted to provide both choices,” Bakish said of Paw Patrol. “It’s not only good for that movie but also for the consumer products business that wraps around it.”
It’s clear that the film industry is going to continue to be in flux for the foreseeable future. But one thing is certain, the distribution models of the pre-pandemic era are not coming back any time soon.