By LINDSEY BAHR, AP News.
Paramount Pictures is joining other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. ViacomCBS on Wednesday announced that some of the studio’s films, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” will go to its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters.
Like all studios in the past year, Paramount has had to adapt. Paramount sold some of its films to streaming services, including “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” which went to Netflix, and “Coming 2 America” to Amazon, but held back its biggest titles, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “Top Gun: Maverick” for more traditional theatrical releases.
“A Quiet Place Part II” has been delayed several times over the past year. It was originally set to come out last March, but was pulled from the schedule when theaters closed nationwide. Both it and “Mission: Impossible 7” are currently scheduled to open in the fall.
The 45-day plan is yet another sign of how quickly the pandemic has changed the business of Hollywood. In the past theater owners have been able to insist upon exclusive 90-day theatrical windows, but most have had to compromise to stay afloat during the pandemic. In the past few months, Universal Pictures reached an agreement with many theater chains to shorten the theatrical window for its films. Warner Bros. and parent company WarnerMedia followed with the more controversial decision to debut films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.
And there’s also the pressure to get premium content to new streaming services faster. Paramount+ launches March 4 and has some hefty competition for audience dollars and attention in Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max. A few films are being produced to go directly to to the service, including a new “Paranormal Activity” and a new “Pet Sematary” origin story. The company has also struck a deal with EPIX that will add thousands of other movies to Paramount+.