HBO Max will get its hands on Fox’s film slate for one final year — under an unusual deal to share streaming windows with Disney Plus and Hulu for half the studio’s titles, starting with animated family comedy “Ron’s Gone Wrong” next month.
Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution and WarnerMedia amended their current output agreement for films from Fox (renamed 20th Century Studios) on HBO/HBO Max, which runs through the 2022 release year.
It’s a last hurrah for the partnership: The deal is not expected to get renewed, as Disney going forward will keep all 20th Century Studios movies exclusively on its own streaming outlets.
Under the tweaked pact, HBO/HBO Max will share co-exclusive rights with Disney Plus and Hulu to a selection of titles from 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. HBO/HBO Max will retain pay-one TV window exclusivity on approximately half the slate through 2022.
In addition, Disney agreed to accelerate the start of the pay-one window for the 20th Century Studios films on HBO/HBO Max, while still honoring the previously announced exclusive theatrical windows. WarnerMedia and Disney also have ad-placement rights within select Fox films for their direct-to-consumer services (HBO Max With Ads and Hulu) after an ad-free window.
“Ron’s Gone Wrong” is the first film to be available on both HBO Max and Disney Plus, slated to premiere on both services starting Dec. 15.
In “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” from 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation, things go awry when socially awkward middle-schooler Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) receives Ron (Zach Galifianakis), a malfunctioning, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his “best friend out of the box.” The movie is directed by Sarah Smith and Jean-Philippe Vine and co-directed by Octavio E. Rodriguez. Julie Lockhart and Lara Breay produce with executive producers Sarah Smith, Peter Baynham, and Elisabeth Murdoch. The movie is written by Sarah Smith and Peter Baynham with music by Henry Jackman.
In addition to hitting Disney Plus and HBO Max on Dec. 15, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” will be available on Blu-ray and on digital stores including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Vudu with exclusive bonus features.
The 20th Century Studios slate for 2022 includes “Prey,” a new installment in the “Predator” film franchise, featuring an Indigenous woman as its lead — however, that will go straight to Hulu in the summer of 2022 and is not part of the revised output deal with WarnerMedia. Disney hasn’t announced availability of titles from 20th Century Studios on HBO/HBO Max beyond “Ron’s Gone Wrong.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story said “Prey” would stream on HBO Max alongside Hulu in the summer of 2022. In fact, “Prey” will be exclusively available on Hulu in the U.S.; in Latin America on Star Plus; and on Disney Plus under the Star brand in other international markets.