Hulu to Be Streaming Home for All 20th Century Studios’ Non-Theatrical Releases
Looks like Hulu won’t be struggling to find content once NBCU's next-day episodes exit the service later this year after all. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the president of 20th Century Studios Steve Asbell announced that Hulu will be the domestic hub for 20th Century releases.
“We remain making commercial films for a global audience; we remain what we’ve always tried to be, which is a supportive working environment for talent,” Asbell said, “but thanks to this increase in streaming output, with the exception of a few titles, all of our movies will launch on Hulu domestically, Star+ internationally, which allows us to make the genres that we love, genres that Disney doesn’t make in the other divisions, and that we haven’t been able to play with as much in recent years. Comedy, thriller, young adult, horror. We get more of these at-bats, and we can make more bets on new talent.”
As the sole streaming service for 20th Century Studios, Asbell stated that his company plans to release 10 or more movies on Hulu every year starting in 2023; the studio also plans to have three or four theatrical releases every year as well.
Scheduled theatrical releases include additions to 20th Century franchises of “Avatar,” “Free Guy,” “Predator,” “Planet of the Apes,” and the Kenneth Branagh-helmed Hercule Poirot adaptations (“Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile”).
While those larger tentpole films will go the traditional route of hitting the big screen before coming to streaming, the films that debut on Hulu will be smaller movies that likely wouldn’t get much play in theaters. Having a dedicated streaming service available to them gives 20th Century the freedom to have this kind of multi-tiered release schedule.
“Prey,” a Comanche-focused “Predator” movie from “10 Cloverfield Lane” filmmaker Dan Trachtenberg, is already set for a Hulu release this summer, and two new installments of the “Alien” franchise are in the works as well. A prequel TV series by the “Fargo” TV series creator Noah Hawley promises an exploration of the series’ past, while Fede Álvarez is set to make a new film.
Since Disney+ launched in 2019, it has partnered in various ways with its corporate sister streaming service Hulu. For many, it was always assumed that Hulu would be used for more mature content while Disney+ would be the home for family-friendly titles.
But with the announcement of new parental controls being added to Disney+ this month in conjunction with the addition of the Netflix Marvel shows, there are questions circling about the future of Hulu.
As part of the Fox acquisition, adding the 20th Century Studios brand to Hulu allows Disney to release movies that they would not normally be involved in, similar to the arrangement that they had when the company owned Miramax and Touchstone Pictures.
While it remains to be seen if there will be a future combination of Hulu and Disney+, while it remains a viable, separate brand, the addition of these new films means that subscribers who have purchased the Disney Bundle will be getting their money’s worth.
It offers a good selection of current TV shows and its ad-supported tier is cheaper than both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You will be able to watch most shows from networks like ABC, NBC, Fox, and cable channels like Bravo, USA Network, FXX, FXM, HGTV, and more.
The service has a Limited Commercials plan for $6.99 a month, or you can upgrade to their No Ads plan for $12.99 a month. For $69.99 a month, you can get Hulu Live TV from major cable channels, live locals and regional sports networks.