Paramount+ Head Says ‘Black Widow’ Success Shows Windowing “Opportunity” – Cannes

Black Widow

Kelly Day, who overseas Paramount+ as President International Streaming Services at ViacomCBS, has said that the numbers clocked by Disney’s Black Widow this weekend show that continued experimentation with theatrical windows is an “opportunity”.

“The success this weekend of Black Widow on both the theatrical and on the streaming side speaks to not only the complexity of navigating these windows but also the opportunity,” the exec said during a panel at the Cannes Film Festival Marche’s Meet The Streamers event. “There is still an incredible opportunity for people who want to sit in the movie theater and have that experience, but also people who want to have the experience at home.”

“We’re going to continue to see lots of evolution [with windows], lots of experimenting,” she forecast.

The Disney pic scored a $158.8M global opening as of yesterday, and the House of Mouse said it generated an additional $60M worldwide from the premium day-and-date release on Disney+.

Day noted that Paramount was also continually analyzing its windows strategy. Timing with the launch of Paramount+ earlier this year, ViacomCBS president Bob Bakish confirmed that the company would be halving the traditional window on its titles to 45-days, and 30 for smaller films.

In Cannes, Day reaffirmed that Paramount+ is aiming to launch in 45 markets by the end of 2022, and that Europe was “top of the priority list”.

Rolling out its platform during a pandemic was unconventional, the exec admitted, but had its upsides. “Maybe this was the best time to launch a streaming service, we had such a captive audience at home. In any case it has exceeded our expectations. The launches went off without a hitch,” she commented, adding that they “continue to see the subscriber forecast go up and up”.

Discussing competition in the market, Day noted there have been “a lot of new entrants in the streaming field” but asserted that her team “don’t spend too much time looking over our shoulders”.

The session’s moderator talked through the sheer number of streamers that have launched in the last two years, name-checking the short-lived Quibi platform. “I’d forgotten about that,” Day joked.

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