In a surprising move, Universal Pictures, Miramax, and Blumhouse’s final installment in director David Gordon Green‘s new Halloween trilogy will release both in cinemas and on streaming service Peacock when it arrives in October.
Halloween Ends, which follows 2018’s Halloween and 2021’s Halloween Kills, is being billed as the final showdown between Jamie Lee Curtis‘ Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, the seemingly unstoppable killer who first came into contact with her over 40 years ago.
Halloween Kills was released the same way, but that was due to COVID-19. Deadline reports that this decision has nothing to do with COVID, and is a purely financial one based on Peacock’s need for more subscribers.
Universal will argue that Halloween Kills‘ simultaneous cinema/streaming release didn’t dent its box office return too much, as it had a $49 million opening and ended up making $131.6 million worldwide. The film also pulled in 2.8 million U.S. households on Peacock, according to Samba TV, during a 30-day period.
Still, it’s curious that the company would want one of its tentpole franchises to be relegated to a simultaneous streaming release. While streaming has tons more respect than it had even a few years ago, it’s still notable that the biggest franchises in the world – the MCU, James Bond, etc. – refused to “dent” their brand by releasing to streaming at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But this is also the cost of running a streaming service. Those platforms need subscribers, and to get them they need content that audiences are interested in. We’ll see how this works out. Halloween superfans will no doubt still flock to the cinema to see the movie, but Universal will be banking on casual observers picking up a month’s Peacock subscription.
Don’t be surprised if this strategy becomes way more prominent in the future.
Halloween Ends hits cinemas and Peacock Friday, October 14.