In an effort to power up Peacock, Universal streams 3 movies directly

“What you will see with these films is that they are broadly attractive, but they also follow that young and diverse audience that represents today’s streaming audience, the generation of consumers who choose streaming as their primary source of entertainment,” Ms. Campbell said. said in an interview.

Despite lagging behind some of its streaming competitors, Peacock has been successful this year. February was a highlight as viewers were able to watch the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Super Bowl, the simultaneous release of “Marry Me” with Jennifer Lopez in theaters and in service, and the debut of “Bel-Air” , a dramatic retelling of the hit ’90s television series “The Prince of Bel-Air” starring Will Smith. (Season 2 is in development.)

“The retention of our service after all of this special content aired in such a concentrated period of time was well above our expectations,” said Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, in an earnings call. last week. “We have seen a 25% increase in commitment hours year over year.”

As the pandemic shocked the theater world, Universal Pictures pioneered a variety of distribution methods for its films. There was purely theatrical film like “Fast 9: The Fast Saga,” which made $ 173 million when it was released last summer when coronavirus cases were down. And there was “Sing 2,” which earned over $ 160 million domestically after it was released in December, before moving to premium video on demand just 17 days after its theatrical debut. The company also experimented with simultaneous release, debuting “Halloween Kills” and the sequel to “Boss Baby” in theaters and on Peacock during the height of the pandemic. The company will do it again in two weeks with the remake of Stephen King’s horror film “Firestarter”.

“There is no one size fits all,” Ms. Langley said. “It’s really about looking at individual movies on the one hand and then our growth engine Peacock as well, and doing what’s best at any given time, depending on what’s happening on the market. Hope this stabilizes over time as the theatrical landscape stabilizes. But until then, we have that chance. “

Like every other studio executive, Ms. Langley is involved in the complicated calculation to determine which films fit where in a world where the box office is down 45% from that of 2019. It’s “a declining box office.” “Ms. Langley said, with theater still expected to be down at least 15% from its prepandemic level in 2023.