News from early October 2022, including "Yellowstone" moving to Paramount+ in Canada, and answers to questions about the Roku Channel and more.
F9, the ninth main film in the Fast & Furious franchise (or, as it's apparently now being branded, The Fast Saga), starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Helen Mirren, and many others, was released in North America on Friday, June 25, 2021 by Universal Pictures.
In Canada, the film is available in theatres; as of late July, cinemas are now open across Canada. In Ontario, where indoor cinemas were not permitted to re-open at the time of release, F9 was still available at select drive-in theatres, and has since become availalble in indoor cinemas as well. To see where F9 may be available in your area, you can check this microsite run by Universal Pictures Canada.
Additionally, F9 became available on premium video on demand (PVOD) on Friday, July 30, 2021, and should become available to stream in Canada on Crave on Friday, March 4, 2022. We'll explain in further detail below.
Can I watch "F9" at home in Canada?
Yes, starting on Friday, July 30, 2021, as a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) release on services including the Amazon Prime Video Store, the Apple TV / iTunes Store, the Cineplex Store, and Google Play.
Since late 2020, Universal Pictures has released many of its new films on PVOD – also known as "Home Premiere", which typically involves a rental price of around $24.99 through a service like iTunes or Google Play – within a few weeks of its theatrical release, under agreements that Universal Pictures reached late in 2020 with cinema circuits including Cineplex in Canada.
Under these agreements, Universal has agreed to theatrical exclusivity for at least the first three weekends (17 days) in release, but can then release movies to PVOD as well after the third weekend. This applies unless a release has more than US$50 million gross ticket sales at the "domestic" (North American) box office during its first weekend in which case the window must be at least 31 days (five weekends).
With an opening-weekend North American box office of almost US$100 million, F9 was placed in the latter category, meaning the earliest it could have been released to PVOD would have been July 26.
On or about July 27, Universal Pictures Canada updated its microsite to confirm that the film would be released to various digital retailers, and cable on-demand services.
More recently, as of this update in late February 2022, digital rentals now go for around $6.99, and the film is available to purchase digitally for around $24.99.
When will "F9" be available on streaming in Canada?
Bell Media's Crave service holds the first pay/streaming window for Universal releases in Canada, beginning about eight months after theatrical release. Crave's website, as well as promos that have aired on its linear pay TV channels, indicate that F9 will become available to stream on that service on Friday, March 4, 2022, and will premiere on the Crave 1 and Super Écran 1 TV channels on Saturday, March 5.
F9's availability on subscription streaming services will likely follow the typical windowing (or release availability) pattern for Universal releases in Canada. This means that F9 will likely remain available on Crave for a little over a year, before moving to Netflix, which currently holds Universal's second pay window in Canada, in the second quarter (i.e. between April and June) of 2023.
To give an example of how these windows currently work with Universal movies: the most recent animated film version of The Grinch was released theatrically by Universal in November 2018. It became available on Crave in June 2019 (about eight months after release), then moved to Netflix Canada in December 2020 (about 18 months after that). Again, contracts do change from time to time, but at this point we expect F9 will most likely follow a similar pattern.
- February 20, 2022 – updates on streaming availability
- October 16, 2021 – updated digital pricing
- August 13, 2021 – Added links to digital retailers
- July 27, 2021 – Updated to reflect confirmation that there will be a PVOD release on July 30; removed some outdated information re theatres (particularly drive-ins).
- June 30, 2021 – added text version of Ontario drive-in theatre listings, and other minor updates