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Paramount Plus to stream big-screen movies 45 days after they hit theaters

A Quiet Place Part II will stream in November and Mission: Impossible 7 will stream in January, both 45 days after they premiere in cinemas.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
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Paramount Plus, a new streaming service replacing CBS All Access next week, will stream some new movies from Paramount Pictures 35 to 45 days after they premiere in theaters, while other Paramount flicks will hit the online service much later. Paramount Plus' release plans for these new theatrical films, though a big change from pre-pandemic norms, aren't as aggressive as some other streaming competitors have been at bringing theatrical films to streaming early.

A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 will both land on Paramount Plus to stream 45 days after they first hit theaters; that would make the Quiet Place sequel available to stream on Nov. 1 and Mission: Impossible 7 on Jan. 3. PAW Patrol: The Movie should land on Paramount Plus on Oct. 4. 

But other big-budget movies, like Top Gun: Maverick, will arrive on Paramount Plus in 2022 after longer windows following their theatrical premieres. Movies like Top Gun, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Transformers 7, Dungeons and Dragons, Scream and Snake Eyes will be on Paramount Plus after their full theatrical runs or, in some cases, after they've gone through home-viewing sales and rentals and even some availability on pay-TV network Epix. The earliest these movies could be available to stream, it seems, is 90 days after they reach cinemas, and the company hasn't specific streaming release dates for individual titles yet. 

The news was announced during an investor event on Wednesday, which mostly focused on a dizzying slate of programming that ViacomCBS hopes will draw in new subscribers to Paramount Plus, even as customers' choices in streaming have exploded in the last year and a half. 

Paramount Plus marks yet another new video service to roll out, like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Peacock, Discovery Plus and others that came before it. Like them, Paramount Plus hopes its particular concoction of TV shows, movies and originals will hook you on its vision for TV's future. But these so-called streaming wars also complicate how many services you use -- and pay for -- to watch your favorite shows and movies online. 

The move makes Paramount Plus the latest streaming service to upend conventions of movie releases during the coronavirus pandemic. But Paramount Plus move was less aggressive than some competitors. In a move that shocked many and outraged some when it was announced in December, AT&T's WarnerMedia said all new movies from its Warner Bros. studio -- including Wonder Woman 1984Dune and The Matrix 4 -- would be available to stream on its own streaming service HBO Max the same day flicks hit theaters, at no added cost to subscribers. 

Even Disney, which had banked more top blockbusters in the years before the pandemic than any other studio, has experimented with releasing some of its big-screen movies on its Disney Plus streaming service the same day they arrive in theaters. It tested a so-called Premiere Access model with its live-action remake of Mulan in September, putting it on Disney Plus with a $30 extra fee. Disney will revive the format next week when it releases its animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters and on Disney Plus with the extra cost at the same time. 

A year ago, moves like these would've been unthinkable. For decades, theatrical-release norms kept movies exclusively in cinemas for 75 days or longer.

For other movie options on Paramount Plus, the company has a deal with Epix to make thousands of legacy movies from a wide variety of studios available on Paramount Plus. Beginning late spring, the service will stream films from franchises like James Bond, Hunger Games, The Addams Family and The Avengers, widening the movie catalog on Paramount Plus to 2,500 titles. 

And MGM's new movies will become available on Paramount Plus after their full theatrical releases and a window of time when they're exclusive to Epix. That includes films like House of Gucci, Creed III and the new James Bond film, No Time to Die.

Paramount Plus is scheduled to launch in the US and Latin America on March 4 with a $10-a-month premium tier. It will widen the service with a cheaper, limited $5-a-month tier in June. 

Check CNET's full coverage of the Paramount Plus event.