Paramount has become the latest studio to take a major step toward shortening the 90-day theatrical window, announcing during ViacomCBS’ investor day that it will stream two of its biggest upcoming blockbusters, “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place — Part II,” on Paramount+ 45 days after they are released in theaters.
When exactly those films arrive has yet to be determined, as the COVID-19 pandemic has repeatedly pushed back the release slates of dozens of blockbusters. But for now, “A Quiet Place II,” which was originally set for release in March 2020, is set for release in theaters on September 17, while “MI7” is set for release in theaters on Nov. 19.
Paramount’s announcement comes as the pandemic has led Hollywood studios to experiment with the theatrical window that has been fiercely defended by movie theaters for decades. Universal Pictures has signed a deal with AMC Theaters and Cinemark to release its films on PVOD as early as 17 days after theatrical release, or 31 days if the film grosses more than $50 million in its opening weekend.
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Warner Bros., meanwhile, made the controversial decision to release all of its 2021 films on HBO Max for 30 days at the same time they are release in theaters. Disney is also experimenting with the theatrical window, placing its animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” in both theaters and on PVOD for Disney+ subscribers on March 5.
Paramount has sold distribution rights to several streaming services over the course of the pandemic, including Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” to Netflix and Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” to Amazon Studios. But the studio has held on to its biggest tentpoles, delaying them in the hopes that theaters will be able to reopen this fall and allow the films to earn a strong return at the box office.
Combined, “A Quiet Place” and “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide during a resurgent box office year for Paramount in 2018, and the sequels, along with “Top Gun: Maverick” are part of the studio’s plan to rebound after struggles in 2019 and 2020.