“The Boss Baby: Family Business” is arriving ahead of scheduled (it was initially slated for Sept. 17) and is now set to premiere on July 2.
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The animated family film is the first title from Universal Pictures to open simultaneously on Peacock, the budding streaming service owned by the studio’s parent company, NBCUniversal. Peacock launched in 2020 and cost $4.99 per month. “The Boss Baby” sequel will be available to Peacock Premium subscribers at no extra cost.
The film will begin to roll out internationally in select markets on July 2. Peacock hasn’t launched yet overseas.
The decision underscores the shift in power between studios and theater owners as the box office recovers from the pandemic. Disney and Warner Bros. have recently attempted similar moves in an effort to grow subscribers for Disney Plus and HBO Max respectively.
Theater owners threatened to boycott Universal’s movies last year after the studio decided to put “Trolls World Tour” in cinemas and on demand on the same day. At that time, all indoor theaters were shuttered to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The hybrid release model isn’t expected to be Universal’s new way of doing business. Shortly after the “Trolls World Tour” debacle, the studio forged a historic agreement to debut new movies on premium video-on-demand platforms in as little as 17 days. So far, that method has proved to be lucrative for Universal. It later put the DreamWorks film “The Croods: A New Age” on demand shortly after it debuted in theaters, where the kids film became a pandemic-era hit with $168 million in worldwide ticket sales.
“Families are at the heart of our decision today to make DreamWorks Animation’s ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ available to everyone this July Fourth weekend, and to give those families the freedom to choose whether to see this joyful, hilarious and heartfelt film from a big-screen theater seat or from the comfort of their own homes on Peacock,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.
“The Boss Baby,” released in 2017, was commercially successful, generating more than $500 million at the global box office. In the sequel, Alec Baldwin is returning to voice the title character with James Marsden, Amy Sedaris and Jeff Goldblum joining the voice cast.
“Our Peacock subscribers love movies, so we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with UFEG and to offer Peacock customers this premium content from one of the industry’s most beloved animation brands,” said Matt Strauss, NBCUniversal’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and international. “DreamWorks Animation films, from ‘Trolls World Tour’ to ‘Shrek’ and beyond are among Peacock’s top performing titles to date, and we’re certain that ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’ is sure to become this summer’s ultimate streaming event.”
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