Digital Media

‘The Lost City’ Movie Isn’t Streaming This Weekend, Sorry

The Lost City is being released in theaters exclusively Friday. 

Paramount Pictures

The COVID-19 pandemic, and its profound disruptions to new movies, triggered an unprecedented wave of theatrical films being released on streaming services at the same time they hit cinemas. HBO Max, in particular, became synonymous with the practice last year, but Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Peacock and Netflix have all experimented with same-day releases. 

So with The Lost City hitting theaters this weekend, confusion around this same-day streaming practice has led to some misguided hope among moviegoers when any new movie hits theaters. Without new standards for when movies move to streaming, lots of people get curious whenever a film hits the big screen whether it’ll be streaming too.

But The Lost City is being released exclusively in theaters Friday, without a subscription streaming option. 

Where will The Lost City be available to stream? 

The Lost City is expected to stream first on Paramount Plus. The movie is distributed by Paramount Pictures, which like Paramount Plus is owned by parent company Paramount.  

Will it be “free” to stream? 

Paramount Plus has never charged an extra fee to watch a movie on its service. And even though it has two different tiers, it has never “paywalled” a movie behind the higher-priced membership level. Paramount Plus requires a paid subscription, though, so nothing on the service is literally free — unless you watch it while you’re signed up on a free trial. Paramount Plus offers a seven-day free trial standard for all new members. 

When will The Lost City’s streaming release date be?

Paramount hasn’t confirmed a streaming release date for The Lost City yet. But understanding the company’s past practice can help to make some educated guesses about when it’ll be available to stream. 

Paramount Plus has a track record of releasing some movies to stream the same day they hit theaters, while keeping others in cinemas exclusively for weeks before reaching the streaming service. For movies similar to The Lost City, though, Paramount has tended to give its movies at least 45 days exclusively in theaters before making them available to stream on Paramount Plus. 

But Paramount doesn’t switch a film over to streaming like clockwork. While its most recent theatrical release, Jackass Forever, landed on Paramount Plus almost exactly 45 days after hitting cinemas, the movie before that, Scream, took roughly a week longer at about 53 days. 

If The Lost City follows a 45-day timeline, it would become available to stream on or after May 9. 

Lately the only films that have been released to stream on Paramount Plus the same day have been family- and kid-oriented movies, like Clifford the Big Red Dog and The Paw Patrol Movie. 

What about other movies in theaters recently? Did any hit streaming the same day?

Earlier this month, Disney Plus streamed its latest Pixar film, Turning Red, instead of making it a theatrical release. Disney essentially skipped cinemas in any country where Disney Plus is up and running. 

Marry Me, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, hit theaters last month at the same time it debuted on Peacock. Peacock is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Universal Pictures is the distributor of Marry Me. You’ll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch it or any of Peacock’s other paywalled programming.

Some other movies from a few months ago are still streaming on services after they, too, were available same day as theatrical releases. Clifford the Big Red Dog is streaming on Paramount Plus, which also requires a $5- or $10-a-month membership. And Peacock is also streaming Halloween Kills, where (like Marry Me) it’s behind the paywall. 

But pretty much any other movie that’s been released in cinemas recently hasn’t been available on a streaming service same-day. 

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