The Boss Baby is arriving early this year. Dreamworks’ sequel The Boss Baby: Family Business has moved forward in the release calendar from September 17 to July 2. More significantly, it will now come out day-and-date in theaters and on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s young streaming platform.
Family Business, which is released by Universal, will be available for no additional charge to Peacock Premium subscribers in the U.S. The streamer has three tiers: free (with ads and limited content), $4.99 premium (full catalogue with ads), and $9.99 premium (full catalogue with no ads).
The North American release on July 2 will also mark the start of the film’s international theatrical rollout. Peacock is currently unavailable outside the U.S.
The first Boss Baby opened in March 2017, going on to gross $528 million worldwide and earn an Oscar nomination. The sequel revisits the film’s infant protagonists, who are now adults and contending with a new “boss baby.” Tom McGrath returns to direct and Jeff Hermann is producing.
The change in strategy mirrors decisions at Disney and Warnermedia to release tentpole titles simultaneously in theaters and on their own streaming service. The former put Raya and the Last Dragon and Mulan day-and-date on Disney+ (for a premium fee), while the latter is releasing Warner Bros.’s entire 2021 slate in cinemas and on HBO Max (at no extra cost).
While this is the first time Peacock is benefiting from such a release, Universal blazed the day-and-date trail last year. In March 2020, as Covid spread globally, the studio announced that it would release Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour both theatrically and for rental on VOD platforms, in a move that was seen as radical at the time (Peacock had not yet launched).
Universal later struck a groundbreaking deal with major theater chains, which allows it to roll a film out on premium VOD platforms as little as 17 days after its theatrical premiere. The studio used this model for Dreamworks’ The Croods: A New Age last fall.
Comcast, NBCUniversal’s parent company, says more than 42 million customers have signed up for Peacock. It has not broken that number down by tiers.