An indication of where post-Gianopulos Paramount’s heading came with the barking news that CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG will open11/10 with day & dating on Paramount+.
It’s not the end of the world that CLIFFORD (pictured) is streaming from Day One, but it puts Paramount in exhibitors’ dog house for moving in the opposite direction from other studios. The year’s best news for cinemas came with Disney’s decision 9/10 to end hybrid launches for the rest of 2021. And just like that — to borrow a line from a much anticipated upcoming HBO Max series — exhibitors got 45 day theatrical windows for THE LAST DUEL (10/150), RON’S GONE WRONG (10/22), ETERNALS (11/5) & WEST SIDE STORY and a 30 day window for ENCANTO (11/24), letting it hit Disney+ 12/24.
Given Disney/Marvel’s phenomenal pandemic powerhouse SHANG-CHI — closing in now on $200M and heading for $240M domestic with no day & dating — insiders expect Disney to continue to steer clear of hybrids in 2022. We already know WB’s theatrical + HBO Max strategy for all its 2021 titles won’t carry forward to ’22. So it certainly seems like Paramount’s running the wrong way on the boxoffice gridiron.