Watching This Week #112
Listings for May 29 to June 4, 2023; Corus channels appear set to leave Eastlink.
The surprise streaming hit with Robbie and Stephen Amell is not available on Netflix in Canada. We'll show you where it is.
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Code 8, the 2019 Canadian science fiction film directed by Jeff Chan and starring cousins Robbie Amell and Stephen Amell, was added to Netflix's streaming catalogue in the United States on April 11, 2020, and quickly became one of its most-streamed movies of the following week.
The movie is not available on Netflix in Canada, but is available for streaming on Crave with the Movies + HBO tier, where it's been available since March 13. Crave is available with a 30-day free trial for first-time new subscribers until April 30. After trial, the tier that includes Code 8 (and other recent movies) normally costs $19.98 per month for direct subscribers, with comparable prices when subscribing through a TV service provider.
While Code 8 was funded in part through an Indiegogo campaign, it only received a limited theatrical release, so it's likely that this is the first that many browsers have been aware of the film. However, it was not a Netflix original film.
Netflix appears to have purchased U.S. streaming rights from Vertical Entertainment, which acquired distribution rights to the film in September 2019. Vertical's rights are described as "worldwide excluding Canada" and a bunch of other large countries, but specifically including the United States.
Crave, meanwhile, was one of Code 8's Canadian funding partners – you can see in the credits at the bottom of the film's website, "produced in association with Crave".
Crave frequently funds Canadian feature films in the early stages of production in exchange for "an exclusive first Pay TV/SVOD [subscription video on demand] window on the project".
In short, Netflix, as a competing SVOD service, cannot add the film to its library in Canada, at least until Crave's exclusive window expires (just like Crave can't add any Netflix-funded original films to its library). But this does not prevent Netflix from adding the film in other countries where Crave doesn't operate, as it has in the U.S.
Code 8 is available for digital rental purchase through the usual sources, including iTunes and Google Play. It's also available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray through retailers including Amazon. (Reminder: we use affiliate links.)
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