Without San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con, Star Wars Celebration or any big media events, Disney was left to announce tons of news during their big livestreamed presentation for investors last night. That means some little tidbits got lost in the shuffle, such as Disney announcing their plans to make Hulu the exclusive streaming home to original movies from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight, the studios formerly known as 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight.
Following the success of original movies like Palm Springs, Bad Hair, and Run this year, Hulu President Kelly Campbell announced the streaming service’s slate of original movies would expand with offerings they’ll co-produce with 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures, which came with their acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
What’s not clear is if these movies from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures will be streaming exclusive titles or if they’ll be released in theaters and be branded as Hulu originals. The three aforementioned titles played on Hulu only, but it’s not clear if that would have been the case if the coronavirus pandemic hadn’t struck such a blow to movie theaters this year.
Considering the recent move by Warner Bros. to send movies to HBO Max the same day they hit theaters in 2021, and Disney beefing up their Disney+ Premier Access offerings, maybe there’s a chance Disney will have 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures do some hybrid theatrical and streaming releases of their own? If not, maybe Hulu is just following in the same footsteps as Disney+ by having more original movies produced solely for streaming.
Hulu said more details on this deal would be revealed in the coming months. The first 20th Century Studios title in 2021 is The King’s Man in January, followed by Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in February and there have been rumblings about the former going to Hulu and the latter possibly to Disney+. Meanwhile, Searchlight has both Antlers and Nomadland intended for release in February, and those could easily get streaming releases on Hulu. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when more details surface.
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