People cannot get enough of Michael Myers – whether it’s in cinemas or at home on their TVs. The latest in the horror movie franchise starring Jamie Lee Curtis – Halloween Kills – has set a box office record for a film simultaneously released in theatres and on streaming – with an almost $50 million opening weekend. It has also set a streaming record for Peacock, as it’s the number 1 (non-live) premiere on the site, which launched in April 2020.
The day-and-date model for movie releases during the Covid-19 pandemic has been controversial and led to much speculation about the death of cinemas. The risky strategy has even led to lawsuits, such as Scarlett Johansson’s against Disney, regarding Black Widow.
Warner Bros has been releasing its blockbusters such as Wonder Woman 84 and most recently, Dune, in theatres and on HBO Max in the US on the same day. Disney has been releasing its movies – including Pixar and Marvel movies (up until the release of Shang-Chi, at least) – as Disney Premiere access titles, with an additional fee.
It isn’t helped by the fact that streaming sites can be cagey about their viewing figures and it’s hard to tell how many people are actually tuning in and watching a whole film on them. But according to comicbook.com, Peacock say that Halloween Kills has been a hit and the risk of putting it on the service on release day, at no extra charge, has paid off.
Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts said that; “We’re thrilled with the performance of our second Halloween installment, which generated more revenue in its opening weekend at the domestic box office than any other film this year with a day-and-date streaming release and is the number one non-live event premier in Peacock’s history.”
NBCUniversal CEO Jeffrey S. Shell said that; “We’ve seen across all streaming platforms that movies move the dial. They moved the dial for Peacock in this quarter with Boss Baby, recently with Halloween Kills, which, by the way, was a huge hit on the Peacock and a huge hit at the box office. So it shows that you can kind of play in two different markets.”
Producer Jason Blum says that it was his idea for Halloween Kills to go day-and-date, after getting “burned” by the release of comedy-horror Freaky.
David Gordon Green’s Halloween Trilogy is set to end next year with the release of the imaginatively-titled Halloween Ends.