Watching This Week #104
An abbreviated newsletter with updated listings for March 20-26, 2023.
Looking for the 2021 video game adaptation in Canada? We'll show you where to find it.
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Mortal Kombat, the 2021 martial arts combat film based on the video game series of the same name, and a reboot of the film series previously released from 1995 to 1997, was released in North American theatres on Friday, April 23, 2021, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Because of the ongoing closures of cinemas in most parts of Canada during the coronavirus pandemic, Warner Bros. Canada released Mortal Kombat both in movie theatres, where permitted to open, and as a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) rental, initially going for about $24.99 (plus tax) for a 48-hour rental, beginning at approximately 3:01 a.m. EDT / 12:01 a.m. PDT on April 23.
Additionally, since September 24, 2021, Mortal Kombat has been available to stream in Canada on Crave (with the Movies + HBO add-on), but there was not a "day-and-date" release in Canada as occurred with HBO Max in the United States.
Mortal Kombat remains available to rent and/or purchase in Canada through the following retailers, with no subscription required to be able to rent:
In addition, if you subscribe to a cable or similar TV service provider, Mortal Kombat should be available to rent for a similar price through most video-on-demand services (on your set-top box), via providers including Bell, Rogers, Cogeco, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and Vidéotron.
PVOD, also known by names like "premium rental" or "Home Premiere", is a relatively new model for the home entertainment industry that allows consumers to watch new-release movies from home at the same time as, or very shortly after, they're released in theatres. Because it's only possible to charge per household, not per viewer (i.e., per seat as with a regular theatre), these rental prices are set quite high to start, comparable to two adult movie tickets. However, in most cases, they've come down to "regular" VOD prices within a few months.
As discussed above, Mortal Kombat is now available to stream in Canada on Crave (with the Movies + HBO add-on, the version of Crave that costs about $20 per mnoth).
In the U.S., Mortal Kombat was part of Warner Bros.' "Same Day Premieres" distribution model for late 2020 and 2021 releases which began with Wonder Woman 1984, in which WB theatrical films have had a day-and-date release on co-owned streaming service HBO Max, and were made available for streaming for no extra charge to subscribers on that service for 31 days after release.
However, this early streaming release did not apply in Canada, or in most of the rest of the world for that matter, where HBO Max is not available.
International services that are otherwise closely related to HBO Max, including Crave in Canada, and even other HBO-branded services in Latin America and Europe, have not been given any similar early access to these films either, as discussed at length in other recent posts, like our post about Wonder Woman 1984. (Some other HBO Max original movies, like Zack Snyder's Justice League and An American Pickle, are available on Crave, in large part because Warner Bros. chose not to release these movies in theatres at all, at least in North America.)
That said, as a Warner Bros. release, Mortal Kombat is covered by a "pay-1" output deal that sends the studio's first-run films to Crave several months after their theatrical runs. These films are typically made available to Crave about 8-10 months after theatrical release, but as with WW84 and some others, the pay-1 releases have been accelerated to just a few months after theatrical release.
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