EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of being quite content with the theatrical and Paramount+ day-and-date release of Paw Patrol, the studio is putting the eOne/New Republic Pictures feature Clifford: The Big Red Dog back on the calendar for Wednesday, Nov. 10 in both theaters and on the ViacomCBS streaming service.
The decision is also due to the ongoing pandemic, the safety for kids 6-11–Clifford‘s main demo and changing consumer behavior. If you remember, Sony moved Ghostbusters: Afterlife out of the Veterans Day stretch there and put it on Nov. 19. Opening Nov. 12 wide, the same weekend as Clifford and aimed at a completely different, older demo is Focus Features’ TIFF-award winning Kenneth Bragnagh childhood biopic Belfast.
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Deadline first told you that Paramount moved Clifford the Big Red Dog was moving out off September 17 due to Covid, and kids being unable to be vaccinated. The pic’s world premiere at TIFF was also pulled, however, Paramount delighted exhibitors with a sneak peek at the movie at CinemaCon. The pic’s long-lead tracking was in the 90s.
Walt Becker directed Clifford off a screenplay by Jay Sherick and David Ronn and Blaise Hemingway. Screen story by Justin Malen and Ellen Rapoport.
Bob Bakish said at a virtual media conference hosted by Goldman Sachs recently:
So I don’t think it will surprise you when I tell you we’re spending a lot of time on release strategy and really testing different models to maximize the value of that film slate in this evolving landscape, particularly in this COVID-rules space.
So most recently with PAW Patrol, that was actually our first day-and-date release. When I say day-and-date, I mean streaming and theatrical simultaneously. We think that’s actually a very good model for kids and family films, again, particularly in this COVID-impacted time, because it gives consumers optionality to view the product where they feel the most comfortable and we did a bunch of research on that. The result of that move, though, was a film which did very well both theatrically and it was a significant driver for Paramount+, where it’s actually now one of the most watched originals to date.
So to us, it’s clear that, that combined strategy really drove the incremental performance. And in fact, if you look at the box office piece of it, it actually outperformed our green light. And the green light was done assuming it was a traditional theatrical-only release. So very compelling on the performance side, and it really demonstrated the potential for us to [event-ise] content, really leveraging the full set of ViacomCBS platforms to do so …So we like the day-and-date strategy for families.
Paw Patrol, from SpinMaster, grossed $37.5M domestic, $103.6M WW.
More to come.