September 9, 2021

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Horror flick “Halloween Kills” will stream on Comcast Corp’s Peacock streaming service starting on the same day it debuts in movie theaters next month, distributor Universal Pictures said in a statement on Thursday.

The strategy is a shift from Comcast’s earlier plan to send the film exclusively to theaters beginning Oct. 15. Hollywood studios have been experimenting with release strategies as cinemas work to recover from COVID-19 closures and media companies try to boost interest in their streaming offerings.

Cinema operators including AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc and Cinemark Holdings Inc say the streaming option eats in to their business and have urged studios to stick with theater-only debuts.

“Halloween Kills” stars Jamie Lee Curtis in a follow-up to the 2018 revival of the classic horror franchise.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 has slowed a hoped-for comeback in moviegoing. Other films, including Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick,” have been delayed until next year.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis)