Universal and DreamWorks will release The Boss Baby: Family Business on Peacock, the same day it hits theaters on Friday, July 2. This means the film will hit theaters months before the studios previously planned. It also comes as studios accelerated the closing of the theatrical window to bring movies to streaming services sooner.
The Boss Baby 2 was previously scheduled to hit theaters on Sept. 17, 2021. However, the new release date means it will hit theaters on July 4 weekend, and families can choose to watch it at home or at the theater. The only other movies scheduled to hit theater that weekend are the horror movies The Forever Purge andTill Death, which certainly appeal to a different audience than The Boss Baby 2. The new animated movie will be available to Peacock Premium customers at no extra charge. Peacock Premium costs only $4.99 per month. The streaming service also offers an ad-free tier, Peacock Premium Plus, for $9.99 per month.
"Our Peacock subscribers love movies, so we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with UFEG and to offer Peacock customers this premium content from one of the industry's most beloved animation brands," Matt Strauss, Chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International at NBCUniversal, said in a statement. "DreamWorks Animation films, from Trolls World Tour to Shrek and beyond are among Peacock's top-performing titles to date, and we're certain that The Boss Baby: Family Business is sure to become this summer's ultimate streaming event."
Although this is the first time Universal is using Peacock to launch a family movie title, it is not its first experiment during the pandemic. In April 2020, the studio made a splash by releasing Trolls World Tour to rent digitally. The studio also released The Croods: A New Age digitally and in theaters during the holiday season last year.
Other studios have come up with different release plans for their movies in the past year. WarnerMedia is launching movies day-and-date on HBO Max and theaters, but they will only be available on HBO Max for the first month after its release before becoming exclusive to theaters. Disney has released select titles onto Disney+, but subscribers still have to pay a premium for some of them. Earlier this month, Disney announced that Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy would be available on home video just 45 days after they hit theaters. Before the pandemic, studios usually waited 90 days before releasing a movie on home video.
The Boss Baby franchise is based on the book by Marla Frazee and stars Alec Baldwin as the title character, a baby with the mind of an adult. The first film grossed over $500 million worldwide and was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2018. The sequel features the voices of Amy Sedaris, Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, James Marsden, Jeff Goldblum, and Ariana Greenblatt.