Free Guy Will Go to Another Streaming Service Before Disney+ or Hulu

One of the draws of Disney+ is that every new Disney movie that hits theaters will head [...]

One of the draws of Disney+ is that every new Disney movie that hits theaters will head exclusively to the service once it becomes available for streaming. The upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be on Disney+ a month and a half after its theatrical debut. However, the waters are a little murkier for projects released by 20th Century Studios. While Disney owns the former Fox studio, 20th Century has a different streaming deal in place than the other labels underneath the Mouse House umbrella. That includes the Ryan Reynolds-starring Free Guy.

20th Century and HBO have had a deal in place for years that allows HBO the first streaming rights for all of the studio's films. That means any new movie from 20th Century goes to HBO Max first, even though Disney bought the entire Fox enterprise. Free Guy was originally put into production by 20th Century Fox, and was released through Disney under the 20th Century banner, which means that its first streaming window will be on HBO Max.

This contract is why Disney was unable to put New Mutants on one of its streaming services during the pandemic. It had to be released in theaters so that HBO Max could have the streaming rights.

Fortunately for Disney, the current contract between WarnerMedia and 20th Century Studios regarding the HBO Max window ends in 2022. So many of the upcoming movies that Disney releases under the 20th Century banner will be able to head to Disney+ or Hulu for their streaming homes. Movies that come out over the next several months, like The Last Duel or The King's Man, will still fall under the previous deal.

Disney and Netflix had a similar streaming contract in place before Disney+ announced, where all new Disney movies were sent to Netflix for their first streaming run. If you remember when Disney+ launched, not every Marvel or Star Wars movie was available on the service, as they were still streaming on Netflix. That deal ran through 2018, making Mary Poppins Returns the final Disney movie to get a run on Netflix before heading to Disney+.

Free Guy will eventually pop up on one of Disney's streaming service, it'll just need to have a stint on HBO first.