Like any studio CEO, Ms. Langley engages in the complex math of deciding what films fit in in a world where theatrical box office is 45 percent lower than it was in 2019. It is “expected that the box office is in decline,” Ms. Langley said. Theater in 2023 remains at least 15 percent lower than its pre-pandemic level.
She described the three films she chose to put directly on Peacock as “movies we loved a decade ago that would not have been made and released in theaters.”
But audiences now have more choices about when and where to watch movies, and it can be hard to convince them that a movie is worth seeing in a theater.
“We still want to make these films, because we believe in stories, we believe in storytellers and we think these are great pieces of entertainment,” said Ms. Langley. “We have the ability to leverage our platform for live broadcasts. And we think they are events that, in fact, will be launched at home, very special for the Peacock audience.”
Peacock is buying movies from Universal Pictures, part of the $3 billion it plans to spend on content in 2022, to reach $5 billion in the next two years.
Ms Langley said that while 2023 will bring three films straight to the Peacock, she hopes to release seven to 10 films in this way in the coming years, films that will all be developed and produced by the same global creative team behind the film. “Jurassic Park” and “Fast and Furious” franchises.
“The future of Peacock depends on having good content, and our future depends on the flexibility in our distribution models,” said Ms. Langley. “So our agendas, at the end of the day, are aligned. So, yes, there is debate about any particular title or something they might want and we can’t provide it or vice versa, but that’s the thing about working within a big company.”
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