Paramount Plus to stream big-screen movies as soon as 5 weeks after they hit theaters – CNET


Sarah Tew/CNET

Paramount Plus, a new streaming service replacing CBS All Access next week, will stream some new movies from Paramount Pictures 35 to 45 days after they premiere in theaters, while other Paramount flicks will hit the online service as soon as 90 days after they land in cinemas. 

A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 will both land on Paramount Plus to stream 45 days after they first hit theaters; that wold make the Quiet Place sequel available to stream on Nov. 1 and Mission: Impossible 7 on Jan. 3. Other big-budget movies, like Top Gun: Maverick, will arrive on Paramount Plus in 2022. Paramount Plus will also stream new movies from MGM Studios, home of the James Bond franchise, several months after they’re released in theaters, in what’s known as the pay-1 window. That’s usually the time when new movies first come to pay-TV networks generally. 

But the Paramount Plus release plan isn’t as aggressive as some other streaming competitors have been at bringing theatrical films to streaming early.

The news was announced during an investor event Wednesday, which was expected to unveil the scope of Paramount Plus and clarify key details about the streaming service, including cost and a flood of new programming that ViacomCBS hopes will draw in new subscribers, even as customers’ choices in streaming have exploded in the last year and a half. 

Paramount Plus marks yet another new video service to roll out, like Disney PlusHBO MaxApple TV PlusPeacockDiscovery Plus and others that came before it. Like them, Paramount Plus hopes its particular concoction of TV shows, movies and originals will hook you on its vision for TV’s future. But these so-called streaming wars also complicate how many services you use — and pay for — to watch your favorite shows and movies online. 

The move makes Paramount Plus the latest streaming service to upend conventions of movie releases during the coronavirus pandemic. In a move that shocked many and outraged some when it was announced in December, AT&T’s WarnerMedia said all new movies from its Warner Bros. studio — including Wonder Woman 1984Dune and The Matrix 4 — would be available to stream on its own streaming service HBO Max the same day flicks hit theaters, at no added cost to subscribers. 

Even Disney, which had banked more top blockbusters in the years before the pandemic than any other studio, has experimented with releasing some of its big-screen movies on its Disney Plus streaming service the same day they arrive in theaters. It tested a so-called Premiere Access model with its live-action remake of Mulan in September, putting it on Disney Plus with a $30 extra fee. Disney will revive the format next week when it releases its animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters and on Disney Plus with the extra cost at the same time. 

A year ago, moves like these would’ve been unthinkable. For decades, theatrical-release norms kept movies exclusively in cinemas for 75 days or longer.

Paramount Plus is scheduled to launch in the US and Latin America on March 4. Its predecessor, CBS All Access, currently costs $6 a month or $60 annually for its tier with advertising, or $10 a month or $100 annually to go ad-free. It’s also offering a deal to get a year of the service at half-price, which will carry over to Paramount Plus after March 4. 

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Check CNET’s full coverage of the Paramount Plus event. 

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