Cord cutters have tons of options for watching their favorite on-demand shows and live TV without the burden of a cable bill. Movie fans don’t have to miss out on the fun. Many video streaming services offer extensive libraries of popular titles and support high-end streaming standards. You might need to wait for premieres to land on the service of your choice, but the variety of films on a service can likely tide you over. You may even discover a new favorite movie that you would never see in theaters or purchase outright.
The movies available for streaming on a service depends on the distribution rights and media properties of the service’s parent company. It’s similar to the way that live TV streaming services must negotiate with cable channel owners to get streaming rights. The services that already own the rights to huge catalogs of content (or have the money to get streaming rights) have an advantage. Take, for example, four of the biggest names in the media business: Comcast (Peacock), Disney (Disney+), ViacomCBS (Paramount+), and WarnerMedia (HBO Max).
Comcast owns several movie studios, including Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, and Illumination. Disney+ has classic Disney films, Marvel movies (but not all Marvel movies), Pixar animations, and Star Wars films. ViacomCBS owns Paramount Pictures. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max includes movies from Warner Bros. (17 of which are releasing on HBO Max at the same time as theaters in 2021) and New Line Cinema, plus has exclusive streaming rights to Studio Ghibli films in the US. Warner Bros. recently announced that it will also release 10 movies on HBO Max the same day as they hit theaters in 2022.