Greenland Will Not Get Theatrical Release, PVOD First, HBO Pays $20-30 Million For Exclusivity

Is this a surprise? Sadly, no. Another movie that could have been watched in theaters is now, quite unnecessarily we think, skipping the big screen.

Wondering how much it’s worth to be able to say an originally intended theatrical release movie is exclusively available on your streaming channel? HBO is giving us some insight with Greenland starring Gerard Butler.

As of now, “Greenland” will arrive on PVOD to purchase on October 13. The film will then be available to rent on October 27. Again, pretty typical stuff. But in early 2021, “Greenland” will make its way to HBO on the network and the company’s HBO Max streaming platform, exclusively. And to ensure that exclusivity, it’s being reported the network had to pay between $20 million and $30 million. For perspective, that’s way more than what HBO paid to land the distribution rights for “Bad Education,” starring Hugh Jackman, which was nominated for a bunch of awards and played last year’s festivals.

Gerard Butler’s ‘Greenland’ Skipping Theaters & Heading to PVOD Before Landing On HBO In Massive Deal

$20-30 million is around what Tenet has grossed domestically through the last four weeks in September ($33+ million to be precise, according to Box Office Mojo), and the studio cut a deal with HBO to grant them an exclusive release in 2021.

Now ask yourself if Greenland had released domestically in theaters with the current amount of roughly 70% reopened theaters, would it have made more than $20-30 million? If you think yes, it likely doesn’t matter because day and date releases (available on streaming as well as theaters at the same time) are not looked upon favorably by the top three chains. OK, sort of save for AMC and Universal (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days)

Maybe we’re in the minority here — that’s not terribly unusual with some of our opinions — but we wanted to see Greenland in theaters as originally planned, then it could still be exclusive to HBO. You know, the way things used to work? Who cares about the past, it seems. What would have been the price tag? We’ll never know now.

Did you want to see Greenland in the theater? Or perfectly happy to drop your 20 bones — or whatever it will cost — and watch on October 13 on VOD? Or wait it out until early 2021 when HBO Max has it as an exclusive new title?

2 thoughts on “Greenland Will Not Get Theatrical Release, PVOD First, HBO Pays $20-30 Million For Exclusivity

    1. We bought Bill & Ted on the 3-pack digital deal, because it made more sense to pay $34.99 for all three than $20 for just Face The Music.

      Not sure what rental will be for Greenland, but we’re not exactly digging the $20 price tag as the default price for a rental.

      I mean, we pay $22/month for unlimited new movies — the only problem is right now there aren’t enough new movies as you stated.

      You don’t have one of those unlimited passes (Regal Unlimited, AMC Stubs, etc)? They aren’t even charging existing subscribers right now (the lack of new movies in theaters isn’t helping), so it’s like free movies, except for the gas, concessions, etc.


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