Just look at the water-cooler megahit that was WandaVision, for example, or the release of the musical Hamilton, or movie launch exclusives like Frozen 2 and Raya and the Last Dragon as evidence of this. These have been event releases that have got people talking and stretched culturally outside of the current Disney Plus subscriber base.
The same is almost certainly going to be true for the incoming Loki and Obi-Wan Kenobi TV shows – just look at how people fell down the rabbit hole after the release of the lastest Loki poster as an example of that. People are being made aware of these shows really well and getting invested.
Simply put, Disney Plus is making events out of its new content better than either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video right now, and it is without doubt in my mind a contributing factor to it amassing over 100 million subscribers in little over 18 months, as well as taking subscribers from rivals.
Netflix does seem to be arming up to fight back, though, as evidenced by its announcement of an incoming Fear Street movie trilogy event that is taking place this summer. The official trailer for this can be viewed below:
As can be seen by the trailer, the Fear Street trilogy, which is based on books by author R.L. Stine, will hit Netflix on a weekly basis starting on July 2nd with Part 1, which is set in 1994. Then, the following week Part 2 of the trilogy will land on July 9, set in 1978, and then finally Part 3 will launch on July 16, which rewinds the clock all the way back to 1666.
Netflix is very much hanging a lantern on the fact that this is an event release, with the trailer stating "three movies, three weeks, one killer story", before also confirming that Fear Street will only be on Netflix. Also, the fact that Netflix has trailed this so far out also leans into that, and seems to follow the model Disney Plus has been using.
What's interesting about this event, though, is that it is based on films. Up till now Disney Plus' multi-week content drops have been based on TV shows, such as The Mandalorian and WandaVision, but we haven't seen whole trilogies of films released like this before on a streaming service.
As such, Fear Street looks like a very interesting borderline experiment from Netflix – it's releasing a horror trilogy of films back-to-back over three weeks, and it's doing it in the summer, too, not around Halloween.
It's interesting to say the very least and, if it is a success, we might be seeing a new format for releasing content on streaming services.
From my point of view I definitely think the more traditional broadcast format of new content not dropping en masse but on a weekly basis is now definitely on-trend, and in many respects I think it is saving TV. However, how true that is for feature-length content remains unknown. It's something that Fear Street on Netflix is going to give us our first taste of.
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