Well this wasn’t well thought-out. Some major films that were touted as being available on the new streaming service Peacock when it launched on July 15th are already about to leave the service. Comings and goings like this are common on most streaming services due to existing licensing deals, but it looks like Peacock pulled a bit of a fast one with regards to a few titles that will only be available for a couple of weeks, and some that were only available for a couple of days.
The folks over at Gamespot discovered that the comedy sequel Evan Almighty is already gone, having expired at midnight ET on July 15th. Fast & Furious, meanwhile, leaves on July 16th. Elsewhere, the end of the month will see a trio of Jurassic Park movies, the Matrix trilogy, and The Mummy and The Mummy Returns depart from the streaming service. Also leaving on July 31st is Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece Children of Men, which was used heavily in the marketing for Peacock.
Having these major blockbusters on hand no doubt boosts interest in Peacock, and if I were in Peacock’s shoes I’d probably still include them if only for a couple of weeks, but this still highlights a major problem that studios are having as they launch their own streaming services. NBCUniversal made deals years ago with other streaming services to license the streaming rights to major titles in their library, and as a consequence of those deals they do not have their full library available to them to put on their own streaming service. Indeed, while some of Universal’s classic monster movies are on Peacock, not all of them are. And noticeably absent from Peacock is the library of Illumination Entertainment films – those animated movies that bring in billions of dollars at the box office for Universal. Another casualty of existing streaming deals.
Peacock isn’t the only one in hot water on this. When HBO Max launched earlier this year, the Warner Bros. streaming service nearly launched without its crown jewel – the Harry Potter franchise. A last-minute deal made them available on HBO Max at launch, but that streaming service is currently suffering from a revolving door of DC Comics adaptations being made available despite those films serving as a cornerstone of WB’s business model.
Unfortunately, this snafu is unlikely to be a unique case, as we’ll probably continue to see major Universal movies and franchises come and go over the ensuing months and years. Fancy new streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock are certainly getting off the ground, but they’ll be feeling the effects of their parent companies signing away streaming licenses to places like Netflix and Amazon and Hulu for years to come.
Here’s the full list of movies leaving Peacock soon:
- Evan Almighty
- Fast & Furious
- Dead Silence
- The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything Wrong
- The Story of Us
- The Blair Witch Project
- Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows
- Children of Men
- Drive Angry
- Jonah Hex
- Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World
- Jurassic Park 3
- The Matrix
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Revolutions
- The Mummy
- The Mummy Returns
- Monster’s Ball
- The Express