Movie theater owners say new standard of streaming film releases will kill the industry
Another major movie studio has announced that it will stream new movies soon after they are released in theaters. Paramount will make its films available on its new streaming platform, Paramount +.
But Paramount’s decision is another blow to the hard-hit movie theater industry that is suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hillsborough Cinemas owner Bob Piechota Jr. is a third-generation movie theater owner. He says that capacity limits and Hollywood’s decisions are hurting his bottom line.
“I think it hurts the industry and undermines it,” he says.
Paramount is abandoning the traditional three-month theater-only release for its upcoming films, including the latest James Bond flick, “No Time to Die” and “Mission: Impossible 7.” The films will begin streaming 45 days after their release in theaters.
“I think the 90-day window worked for years,” says Piechota. “It has kept theaters in business and it helped filmmakers play the film how they intended.”
Paramount's move to stream releases on its rebranded Paramount + beginning next week comes nearly three months after Warner Bros. began same-day streaming on the company's HBO Max in an effort to gain subscribers for streaming services and make money that near-empty theaters cannot earn.
Piechota, whose family's theater business goes back to the early 1970s, says that he hopes early streaming of releases isn't the new standard.
Paramount + will begin streaming many archived and new films on March 4.