During a quarterly earnings call today, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish previewed a number of future directions for Paramount+, a streaming service formerly known as CBS All Access that officially launched this past March. Among the news shared was a plan to “begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The catalog of content available will increase greatly with the addition of 1,000 new titles available in June, and more than 2,500 added by July.
In the short term, Paramount+ will serve as the launching pad for Infinite, the delayed sci-fi thriller from director Antoine Fuqua and starring Mark Wahlberg. Originally scheduled to debut in theaters last August, the film had been slated for a September 24th, 2021 theatrical release, and will now bow exclusively on the streaming service in June. The film is based on D. Eric Maikranz’s novel The Reincarnationist Papers and follows a man (Wahlberg) with memories of past lives brought in by a group called the Infinites to combat an enemy (Chiwetel Ejiofor) bent on the destruction of humanity.
This release model follows what happened with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which ended up launching with Paramount+ on March 4th. A number of Paramount films were sold to different streaming services in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, with properties like The Trial of the Chicago 7, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, and Coming 2 America going to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, respectively.
While this news takes one major movie off the theatrical calendar, there are many that still remain. Among the highest-profile is the long-awaited A Quiet Place: Part II, which was supposed to be released way back in March 2020 and will now finally arrive on May 28th of this year before premiering on Paramount+ forty-five days later (watch the final trailer). Coming up after that in theaters for 2021 are Snake Eyes (July 23rd), Paw Patrol (August 20th), Jackass (October 22nd), Clifford the Big Red Dog (November 5th) and Top Gun: Maverick (November 19th).
New original movies, including remake Paranormal Activity and The In Between, will make their debuts on Paramount+ sometime this year. Bakish described the influx of new films coming to the streamer as part of a “‘Mountain of Movies’ marketing campaign, where we will highlight the thousands of new movies we are adding to Paramount+, including blockbuster hits and exclusive original…All of this is a preview to a substantial ramping up of original movies next year, when we expect to begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022.” While details are yet to come, he did note that “the original movie per week will be an exciting movie per week. It will be a range of different kinds of movies.”