Paramount Picture and eOne’s “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will be available to stream on Paramount+ on Tuesday, May 16. This comes 47 days after its March 31 domestic theatrical debut, continuing Paramount’s mostly-firm 45-day window — most movies arrive on home video on a Tuesday — between theatrical and streaming which began in July 2021 with “A Quiet Place Part II.” The film has been available to rent on PVOD for $20 or buy digitally for $25 since May 2, with a DVD, Blu-ray and 4K release arriving May 30.
The film received solid reviews and excellent word of mouth, but the $150 million franchise starter barely topped $205 million worldwide in theatrical earnings. The Dungeons and Dragons brand was a prime example of “IP for the sake of IP.” None of its admittedly impressive cast (Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Hugh Grant and Regé-Jean Page) qualified as a butts-in-seats draw. Moreover, the film was initially slated for March 10 before being moved to March 31.
Whether it would have fared better between “Creed III” and the underperforming “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” as opposed to just five days before “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” the date change certainly didn’t help position it as the de-facto family event movie of its moment. Paramount knew it had a good movie, debuting it at the SXSW festival and sneaking the hell out of it to build word-of-mouth, but they couldn’t quite move the needle. Moreover, $150 million is arguably what you spend on “Dungeons & Dragons 2,” not “Dungeons & Dragons.”
Written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley, with a story from Chris McKay & Michael Gilio (the latter of whom shares screenwriting credit with Goldstein and Daley), “Honor Among Thieves” will likely perform well for Paramount+, both because it was a high-profile theatrical release and because folks who are at least somewhat curious will sample the goods now that it’s available “for free” on a streaming service to which they already subscribe.
That’s cold comfort to the investors, as high streaming viewership doesn’t make up for poor box office grosses, but it may lead to better viewership should the planned “Dungeons and Dragons” Parmamount+ episodic actually come to pass. One cannot say that HBO Max’s success with James Gunn’s “The Peacemaker” made up for the theatrical failure ($168 million worldwide on a $180 million budget) of James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” but there is probably a little new streaming-era math to consider in the big picture.
So, if you were on the fence about the crowd-pleasing fantasy adventure comedy but either you weren’t curious enough or you didn’t want to spend $100 to take your family of five to the theater (tickets, parking, concessions, etc.), now is your chance to see what you missed in theaters.