Paramount Plus might not have blown us away at launch, despite its solid array of existing originals, but in 2022 it's about to take things to the next level. The service's owners, ViacomCBS, has announced its intention to release an original movie every week in 2022 as part of an earnings call.
CEO Bob Bakish says the company is planning "a substantial ramping up of original movies next year, when we expect to begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022."
This is a massive increase in output, and a clear effort to make Paramount Plus a viable competitor to Netflix – which has committed to releasing a new original movie every week in 2021.
The streamer also announced that new Antoine Fuqua sci-fi movie Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor, will release straight onto the streamer in the US in June rather than hit the big screen. How that particular movie will release internationally is yet to be seen.
Paramount Plus is planning a 'Mountain of Movies' campaign to underline just how many films it's adding to the service. 1,000 more movies will land on Paramount Plus in June, and more are coming thereafter – adding up to 2,500 movies to stream by July.
Paramount plans on releasing movies like A Quiet Place Part 2 and Mission Impossible 7 only 45 days after they hit theaters. That means A Quiet Place Part 2 will start streaming in mid-July. Original movies like a new Paranormal Activity installment and supernatural romance movie The In Between will arrive before the end of the year, too.
Paramount Plus is available in the US, Canada, Latin America and Nordic countries, with an upcoming launch in Australia.
Taking the war to Netflix
Every streamer knows that it's fighting for the attention of potential subscribers – it's why Disney Plus has committed to making 11 Star Wars shows and 10 Marvel shows over the next few years. That's how you get attention.
Netflix has made the most of its lead in the streaming space, and has steadily ramped up its movie production to the point where it can comfortably launch a new film every week. Frequently, it'll release more than one. There's no reason to think this will change in future, either, so its library will only get better over time.
Here, ViacomCBS is aiming for a similar output of movies without the build-up – it's not starting from nothing, exactly, since Paramount Plus already has a solid library of movies. It is named after a movie studio, after all. But it does mean the studio is determined to make original films its selling point over the next year, and that it has a chance at grabbing attention from Netflix – particularly if those films are based on some of its existing series.