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In the wake of films like The Invisible Man and Trolls: World Tour, as well as Birds of Prey, all making moves to the VOD rental space, some other films might want to consider moving themselves into similar spaces ASAP. STX Entertainment’s Dave Bautista comedy My Spy is one such film that should consider that strategy, preferably through a Netflix streaming release, as soon as possible.
That’s not a knock towards the quality of the movie, but rather an acknowledgment of some realities that have surrounded director Peter Segal’s espionage comedy. All of these factors add up to one simple truth: streaming My Spy would probably be the best scenario when considering this picture’s potential box office fortunes.
It’s because of the following reasons that, at least in my opinion, My Spy would really flourish on Netflix.
My Spy Has Already Been Delayed Several Times
You could practically consider My Spy’s domestic release one big game of musical chairs. Originally scheduled to open in August 2019, the movie first moved to a January 2020 release date. But as we’ve seen in the past couple of months, January became March, March moved to April, and even that date is likely to be moved to a point to be determined, as major theater chains are shutting down until further notice.
At this point, the marketing machine for My Spy can’t do too much more on the home front. The audience that’s primed for this movie is as ready as it will ever be, so delivering it to Netflix now would capitalize on that buzz at the best time possible. It’s also the first step of making the best out of a bad situation, thanks to recent events.
Making My Spy A Netflix Original Could Boost Its Potential Audience
With a lot of families quarantining at home together due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools and limiting public activities, there’s going to be a need for fresh family entertainment in the streaming world. Disney’s already responded to this crisis by moving up Frozen II’s streaming debut on Disney+, and while it was probably scheduled to be this way, Dreamworks’ Abominable will be headed to Hulu in April.
My Spy has a chance to perform better than it might have in theaters thanks to the potential ease of access a Netflix release would provide. Once parents start to get sick of either of those other two previously mentioned films being played in heavy rotation in their household, they’re going to want to change the channel, so to speak. What a perfect time to have a new family-oriented comedy sitting around and waiting to be watched.
Plenty Of Preview Screenings Have Already Taken Place For My Spy
Speaking of repetition, there’s a chance that one of these hypothetical family units have already seen My Spy. One of the ways this could have happened is due to the fact that there have been about as many rounds of preview screenings as there have been release delays pertaining to the film’s distribution.
When kids really like a movie, they tend to want to see it more than once, which means not being able to go see My Spy again as planned might put a bit of a damper on those who really enjoy the kid-safe antics of Dave Bautista. Having the film available on Netflix closes that particular window, and in a way that parents won’t have to pay too much to handle.
Piracy Issues May Crop Up From My Spy’s European Release
Even if you’re an older theatrical fanatic who wants to see My Spy’s comedy unfold, there’s going to be a need to see this movie. And not every country that was set to debut the film delayed its cinematic release, with Australia having already released the film in January, and the UK following through with the plan to drop this movie on last weekend’s previously scheduled debut period.
As any citizen of the internet knows, once a movie’s in theaters, it’s only a matter of time before it’s pirated. That piracy could potentially hurt My Spy’s domestic theatrical debut, whether it takes place in April or any other month to come. Cutting out the middle man and sending this flick right over to Netflix fulfills an audience’s appetite for such a product, and gives pirates less ground to distribute this film successfully.
Other Big Ticket Movies Are Already Moving To VOD Rentals
The last, and probably most major reason that My Spy should make itself friendly with the Netflix stable of original content is the fact that a lot of its competitors are going into the realm of VOD rentals early. As mentioned before, The Invisible Man and Birds of Prey are cutting their theatrical windows short with this new tactic, and in the case of Trolls: World Tour, it’ll be the first movie to debut solely through these rentals.
The only problem is in the case of something like the Trolls sequel, it'll be charging around $20 a rental, which might not be the desired price point in a world where that sort of money pre-orders you a digital copy of those very same movies. By aligning itself with Netflix, My Spy would be available in a VOD context, but on a platform that already makes its money by charging subscribers a monthly fee. So the choice between spending a premium price on a 48-hour rental, or subscribing for a month's worth of access to Netflix’s library is a no-brainer.
There’s no word yet on what My Spy’s plans for theatrical release will be, but it’s almost inevitable that another delay is in the works. At this point, it’d probably be smarter money for STX Entertainment to make a deal with Netflix to help cover some of those losses, and make the film available to the audience that is eager to see it.
Further delays could hurt the movie, as the marketplace has already started to evolve and move forward towards a streaming friendly strategy in the meantime. As of this moment though, My Spy is still displayed as opening on April 17. We’ll see what the future holds in terms of potential delays, but in the meantime, should your family still be up for mining as much fun out of Frozen II as they possibly can, a free 7-day trial of Disney+ can help in that regard.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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