‘Halloween Ends’ Gets Day-and-Date Release on Peacock; Theatrical Windowing Continues to Be Unpredictable
Just in time for spooky season, the newest installment of the “Halloween” franchise is coming to Peacock on the same day as its theatrical release. “Halloween Ends,” touted as the final chapter in the Michael Myers story, will be available to stream on the NBCUniversal streaming service and in theaters on Oct. 14.
The move to make “Halloween Ends” a day-and-date release is part of a larger campaign at Peacock to celebrate Halloween by adding new thriller and horror movies to the service. “The Black Phone,” a critically-acclaimed thriller starring Ethan Hawke has already been moved to the NBCU streaming platform following the standard 45-day theatrical window for Universal films.
Idris Elba’s new creature-horror film “Beast” will also be a part of the scary movie takeover at Peacock. Last week, we theorized that the film would be available as soon as Oct. 3 if NBCU stuck to its rollout strategy, and that date was confirmed in the same announcement that signaled the day-and-date release of “Halloween Ends.”
The move is yet another sign that although the studio’s 45-day theatrical window may be its default position, it is not a hard and fast rule. Some films (like “Halloween Ends”) are getting much shorter — or no — exclusive theatrical windows, while some are getting longer ones.
For example, Jordan Peele’s newest hit film “Nope” would hit Peacock around Sept. 5 if it followed the 45-day rule, but its theatrical and critical success make it a strong candidate to stay off the streamer for a longer period of time. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the extraterrestrial horror film also hit Peacock closer to Halloween season as well.
NBCU is not the only company willing to change strategies for theatrical windows on a case-by-case basis. Disney moved “Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness” to Disney+ after 47 days, but decided to skip a theatrical release completely for “Prey,” moving that film directly to Hulu, in order to avoid sharing it with HBO Max.
Warner Bros. Discovery, however, is choosing a different strategy altogether. Beginning with this summer’s hit biopic “Elvis”, WBD is moving films to a pay video-on-demand release model before taking them to HBO Max. WBD CEO David Zaslav has stated repeatedly that he doesn’t see a financial case for moving lucrative films directly to streaming, and his actions have mirrored his words.
As the COVID pandemic recedes across the globe, day-and-date releases of films are sure to decrease. Streaming services are partnering with theaters more and more to promote shows and highlight library content. This demonstrates that streaming services don’t think of movie theaters as their competitors, but rather as opportunities to expand their audiences and fatten their bottom lines. So fans should enjoy the day-and-date release of “Halloween Ends,” because it’s a trend that may not last much longer.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.