Why is Prey, the new Predator movie, only on Hulu?

The Predator film franchise may never have reached the heights of the original 1987 film – a thrilling action classic directed by John McTiernan and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – but its three sequels to date have consistently delivered theatrical experiences and are reliable at the box office profitable . (The latter also applies to the trashier Alien vs. Predator spinoffs.)

So it’s a surprise to see the latest film in the series, prey, go straight to streaming on Hulu. Despite being a stripped-down premise depicting a clash between an alien Predator and a Comanche warrior 300 years ago, the mostly positive reviews say the film would do well in theaters if given the chance (in the Indeed, as some critics saw it). prey would likely be a welcome addition to the relatively quiet late summer release schedule for audiences and theater owners alike.

Not only that, but by making its streaming-only debut beforej swims against the current. While some studios tried to get movies to stream to boost their subscriber numbers during the pandemic, the box office has rebounded significantly this year, led by the extraordinary success of Top Gun: Maverick. Studios are now banking on theatrical releases for films in well-known franchises — like the Predator series — increasing profitability. And they’re turning their backs on direct-stream releases, even to the extent that Warner Bros. has shut down its HBO Max bat girl film completely.

So what’s up? prey? As is so often the case with such questions, the answer lies not in a sophisticated strategy, but in boring business stuff – and maybe a bit of sour grapes.

Predator heard and prey was manufactured by 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox). Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019. Disney also owns a majority stake in Hulu, where it likes to offer its more mature content that doesn’t come under the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, or Marvel brands. (In the US anyway; internationally it’s all on Disney Plus.)

But, according to Adam B. Vary of Variety, before it was acquired by Disney, 20th Century Fox had a deal with HBO Max to stream all of its theatrical releases there. This deal still applies to all films made before the Disney merger. This explains why current 20th century releases are so popular free guy, nightmare alley, Westside Storyand Death on the Nile instead of on HBO Max or appeared alongside Hulu or Disney Plus.

This clearly irks Disney as it works to build its streaming audience. In case of prey, the company appears to have decided not to release the film in theaters in lieu of showing it on HBO Max. According to an interview given by director Dan Trachtenberg Uproxx is what Disney wants to use prey as the first large-scale franchise production of the 20th century, boosting subscriptions for Hulu.

Hulu hasn’t really had … There hasn’t been a 20th franchise baby that’s come out yet,” Trachtenberg said. “So what they’re hoping to do is really ignite the platform to say, ‘We’re not just launching the smaller, lower-budget plan. That this is also a place where you can have huge cinematic experiences.’” prey is certainly a flashier offering than recent Hulu hits nomadic country or PalmSprings.

Given the current box office climate, Disney would certainly have gone for it prey a play if all things were equal. But it’s not, and Disney would rather deny audiences that cinematic experience and hopefully lure them into a Hulu subscription than give a competitor precious Predator IP.

https://www.polygon.com/23291993/prey-predator-prequel-hulu-theaters Why is Prey, the new Predator movie, only on Hulu?

Charles Jones

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