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Peacock to stream new Universal movies 45 days after release

The Peacock app on Apple TV
(Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Peacock is looking to entice more potential subscribers to its service by announcing that starting in 2022 the streaming service will have the latest Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation movies as early as 45 days after their release in movie theaters. So, for example, if you’re going to want to stream Downton Abbey: A New Era, Peacock is going to be the place you can do it before anywhere else.

Downton Abbey is just the top of the iceberg. On Universal’s docket for 2022 are films like The 355 starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penelope Cruz; Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney and Julia Roberts; horror movie The Blackphone starring Ethan Hawke; the Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson rom-com Marry Me; a new Michael Bay film, Ambulance; animated movie The Bad Guys; and the final film in the new Halloween trilogy, Halloween Ends.

This new feature of Peacock joins will combine with what the streaming service already offers, which includes a library of classic TV shows and movies, next-day access to current NBC shows, Peacock originals and live sports. Just be aware, while there is a free version of Peacock available, some of these features are only available for Peacock Premium subscribers. NBCUniversal did not explicitly say if these new movies would be available for all Peacock users or only Peacock Premium subscribers.

“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content for Peacock, films are essential to that mix,” said Kelly Campbell, President, Peacock. “The team at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group are fantastic partners and we are excited to bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock as early as 45 days after their theatrical release, and provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”

Peacock is just the latest streaming service to boost its profile by making themselves the landing spots for the latest movies on streaming. This past year we saw Warner Bros. release its latest movies on HBO Max at the same time as theaters for a limited time (this is going to end in 2022, but imagine WB movies will still stream first on HBO Max); Disney Plus also gave same-day releases for select films via Disney Plus Premiere Access for a time before going with a 30-45 day window between theatrical and streaming release; and Paramount Plus deployed essentially the same policy as Peacock, as it is owned by ViacomCBS, which owns Paramount Pictures, like Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal.

Peacock can be accessed on Roku platforms, Amazon Fire TV and tablets, Apple devices, Google and Android platforms, Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, smart TVs and computers.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.