Why Is One Version of the ‘Nightmare Alley Remake on Two Streamers at the Same Time?
Guillermo del Toro’s version of the 1947 film noir classic “Nightmare Alley” opened Tuesday on both Disney-owned Hulu and Warner Bros.’ HBO Max in the United States, only days after Searchlight added black-and-white theatre dates (along with some remaining colour ones).
Because the monochrome cut recently came out in cinemas, both streams only have the colour version. The repercussions of Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox explain why Disney would make the contradictory decision to share the picture with a competitor (which includes Searchlight). On theatrical releases, studios often negotiate with premium cable channels; prior to Covid, these partnerships typically began eight to nine months after the film was released in cinemas.
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Fox, which included Searchlight, had such a deal with HBO. (Warner Bros. does have a premium cable channel, although Fox does not.) This arrangement will last through the end of the year, and it covers a number of significant Fox properties. As a consequence, movies including “Free Guy,” “The French Dispatch,” “West Side Story,” “The Last Duel,” and “The King’s Men” had to be sent to cable HBO before they could be streamed anyplace.
The two businesses stated in November that they would work on a streaming plan for the duration of the deal. Warner Bros. owned the rights outright, but Disney most likely enticed the studio to share custody with the promise of a spot on HBO Max—typically only weeks after the film’s theatrical premiere.
The streamers have now shared a clip for the second time. “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” a Fox Animation film that premiered in October, was added to both sites in December. The Disney titles’ joint release plan, on the other hand, demonstrates the many possibilities available.
The deal was revealed in late November, but there were no details about the titles beyond the first one. However, the publication of the first movie has provided some insight into the many alternatives.
Despite the fact that it was published about six months ago, “Free Guy” will not be available for streaming until February 23, when it will be available on both Disney+ and HBO Max. After many months of consistently successful premium VOD and standard-price VOD, with Disney as the lone studio receiving income, this comes as a surprise. After PVOD and VOD play, “The French Dispatch” and “The Last Duel” both moved to HBO Max alone – not Hulu.
“West Side Story” is still up in the air. Despite the fact that the film has been a box office flop ($36 million so far), it has a lot of streaming appeal: It has the potential to draw in older viewers who are hesitant to go to the movies, and it is expected to get numerous Oscar nominations next week. It’s conceivable that Disney may choose to keep the film in theatres after the nominations or add PVOD play before streaming begins.
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It’s worth noting that “Nightmare Alley” includes the following: The PVOD phase was skipped. The picture was not a box office hit (it only made $10 million), but it features a star-studded cast (Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, and Rooney Mara among them) that attracts at-home moviegoers. It’s possible that without PVOD, it may attract new Hulu customers or new HBO Max subscribers.
The Disney-HBO partnership might possibly explain why “Death on the Nile” didn’t premiere on Hulu first. Kenneth Branagh’s project, which was planned before “Belfast,” has been postponed due to marketing worries over a title starring the scandalised Armie Hammer. According to current contracts, the studio did not have a direct-to-Hulu option.
The black-and-white version of “Nightmare Alley” is anticipated to be on streaming at some time, most likely on Hulu. In the meanwhile, you may rent the 1947 version on Amazon Prime, Roku, and other platforms.
This week, those who prefer current films on PVOD rather than a subscription channel have a significant new alternative. After an unusually extended 10-week theater-exclusive run, “House of Gucci” (United Artists) is now available on PVOD for $19.99.
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