Paramount Pictures Boss Jim Gianopulos: “We Believe In The Power Of Theatrical…Audiences Will Enthusiastically Return”


Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos gets it; just like Disney CEO Bob Chapek gets it: You can’t have a successful streaming service without big theatrical event films.

The two go hand-in-hand, so don’t try and muddy the waters. Big screen drives big franchises, which in turn drives streaming features and spinoff series.

Exclaimed Gianopulos at Viacom’s Paramount+ Day today, “We believe in the power of theatrical releases and we have faith that after things get back to normal, audiences will enthusiastically return to theaters.”

“At the same time, consumers have increasingly embraced streaming as another way to enjoy films,” said Gianopulos, “our strategy accounts for both.”

Paramount+/ViacomCBS Streaming Event: Deadline’s Complete Coverage

Today, the Melrose Ave. lot announced that three of its upcoming 2021 releases —A Quiet Place Part II, Mission: Impossible 7 and Paw Patrol will drop on the new streaming service 45 days after their theatrical release. It’s a very fair deal for exhibition considering that Universal’s exhibition deal with Cinemark (and arguably AMC) entails 17 days of theatrical until PVOD on certain titles, and if a movie opens north of $50M, then 31 days until PVOD.

But it’s clear that Paramount is getting ahead of the future, and not erratically experimenting, i.e. like WarnerMedia throwing its entire 2021 theatrical slate on a day-and-date strategy with theatrical and HBO Max. While that formula may be OK for the short-term during the pandemic, as New York looks to come back on line with its movie theaters, and Los Angeles in the wings in the near future, it’s not a life-long recipe. I’ve consistently been told that once major studios and theatrical come back in force as Covid calms, the whole day-and-date strategy won’t last; it will only cannibalize (in all fairness to WarnerMedia, they’ve actually attempted to spend in marketing to make their titles work in whatever limited way theatrically, something Netflix does not do).

More to the point that big screen means big bangs on streaming: Many of Paramount’s classics are being turned into series (i.e. its drama series The Offer about the making of The Godfather) and streaming feature reboots of Love Story, Fatal Attraction, Flashdance, The Italian Job and The Parallax View. 

Gianopulos also mentioned that Paramount+ will ultimately tout 2,500 movies including the MGM library with the 007 franchise and Lionsgate’s Hunger Games movies. In addition, all the Paramount movies will finally be available in one silo service, which wasn’t the case with CBS All Access.

It was also announced today that Paramount Players will be producing three to four features a year for the revamped Viacom streaming service; on deck are a new Paranormal Activity, Pet Sematary and the Joey King movie The In Between. 

As we reported last Friday, NRG reports that moviegoer confidence has spiked as news of vaccinations becomes more prevalent.

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