Watching This Week #112
Listings for May 29 to June 4, 2023; Corus channels appear set to leave Eastlink.
Here's what we know about Canadian availability for the comedy starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti.
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The 2020 comedy film Palm Springs, starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, and J.K. Simmons, was released in the U.S. on July 10, 2020, with a limited American theatrical release by Neon alongside streaming on Hulu. However, the film did not receive an authorized release in Canada – or any other country – at that point.
It wasn't until November 4 that Amazon announced it had acquired the premiere streaming rights to the film in Canada and a few other countries. Consequently, as of Friday, December 18, Palm Springs is now available in Canada at no extra charge to Amazon Prime Video subscribers. Prime Video is part of the Amazon Prime membership program, which in Canada costs $7.99 per month or $79.00 a year (plus applicable taxes), with a one-month trial available in most provinces for first-time subscribers.
Hulu and Neon had teamed up to pay a record $17,500,000.69 (USD), plus bonuses, for worldwide distribution rights to the film. However, Hulu is not available in Canada, and neither Hulu nor Neon indicated their plans for international release at the time, particularly following the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
While Amazon's press release did not mention which entity (or entities) they acquired these rights from, industry news site Deadline has reported that despite the "worldwide" rights discussed above, international sales were outsourced to FilmNation Entertainment and the deal was done through them.
A previous version of this article noted that Amazon has been on friendly terms with both Neon's main Canadian distributor Elevation Pictures, which has an output deal with Amazon for most of its theatrical releases, as well as Hulu parent company Disney, which has recently sold international streaming rights to shows like Little Fires Everywhere to Prime Video. But we had overlooked the international sales deal with FilmNation, so most likely these relationships did not directly influence the sale in this case.
If you're not interested in an Amazon Prime membership, it is possible that at a future point, Palm Springs could also be made available on rental/purchase stores like iTunes or Google Play. But at the moment, it seems likely this will be well after its release on Prime Video Canada.
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