Where to stream Godzilla vs. Kong in Canada?

Published on March 20, 2021 and last updated on August 22, 2021, Discover the whereabouts of the new MonsterVerse film in Canada.

Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth installment in Legendary Entertainment's "MonsterVerse", featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, and Rebecca Hall, alongside the iconic creatures Godzilla and King Kong, premiered in theaters across North America on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Initially, Warner Bros. stated that the movie would exclusively be shown in theaters in Canada, despite ongoing closures of most cinemas throughout the country. However, on March 25, WB made a surprising announcement, completely altering their plans. They declared that Godzilla vs. Kong would be released in Canada both as a traditional theatrical experience (in locations where theaters were open) and as a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) digital rental, allowing viewers to enjoy the film from the comfort of their homes. This unique viewing option, commonly referred to as "rent it at home," was made available on March 31 at a suggested retail price of $24.99 for a 48-hour rental. Subsequently, the rental price was reduced to .99, while a digital purchase could be made for approximately $24.99.

As stated on Warner Bros.' official website for the movie, Godzilla vs. Kong can now be rented or purchased through various retailers/providers:

Furthermore, the film should also be accessible via video-on-demand services offered by television service providers, such as Bell, Rogers, Cogeco, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and Vidéotron, accessible on your set-top box.

Moreover, as of August 20, 2021, Godzilla vs. Kong became streamable on Crave, accompanied by Movies HBO. It is anticipated that it will remain available on the platform until late 2022.

For those unacquainted with PVOD, this relatively novel concept, also known as "premium rental," "Home Premiere," or, in Disney's case, "Premier Access," allows individuals to view recently released films from the comfort of their homes, simultaneously with their theatrical debuts. This option became particularly popular during the pandemic-induced closure of most Canadian cinemas. Since charges are based on a per household basis rather than per viewer or seat, the rental prices initially tend to be high, comparable to the cost of two adult movie tickets. However, they usually decrease to regular video-on-demand prices within a few months.

What caused the uncertainty surrounding the digital availability of "Godzilla vs. Kong" in Canada?

Throughout late 2020 and early 2021, Canada faced ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to prolonged closures of movie theaters across several provinces and municipalities.

Consequently, Warner Bros. decided to adopt a hybrid release model, similar to their approach with HBO Max, for other films in their lineup, like Wonder Woman 1984, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Tom & Jerry. This model allowed these films to be offered in Canada both in theaters (where possible) and as premium video-on-demand (PVOD) digital rentals. As a result, individuals in major cities, including Toronto and Vancouver, were afforded the opportunity to watch these movies despite the closure of cinemas in their respective markets.

However, just two weeks before the movie's premiere, Warner Bros. made a surprising decision to exclusively release Godzilla vs. Kong in Canadian theaters. This information was first reported by Barry Hertz from The Globe and Mail and later confirmed by WB's advertisements on Canadian TV channels, emphasizing the film's exclusivity to theaters.

This choice raises the question of why Warner Bros. opted for a theatrical-only release in Canada for Godzilla vs. Kong, while other films like WW84 had a PVOD (Premium Video on Demand) release.

Unlike the aforementioned films, Legendary, the production company, largely financed Godzilla vs. Kong, with Warner Bros. fulfilling the role of a distribution partner. Reports suggest that Legendary was displeased with WB's unexpected announcement of their hybrid release strategy and even contemplated taking legal action to prevent the simultaneous streaming release. However, it seems that the dispute was eventually resolved, as indicated by recent developments.

Previously, we speculated that Legendary may have imposed additional restrictions as part of the settlement, potentially affecting WB's ability to consider streaming or PVOD releases in other countries such as Canada.

However, in their press release announcing the change in plans, Warner Bros. states that both the initial decision and the subsequent alteration were solely their own:

"While we remain committed to providing a theatrical experience whenever possible, we have revised our approach due to fewer markets reopening as intended. Consequently, we have decided to provide Canadian audiences with the opportunity to enjoy this thrilling action adventure film in theaters and from the comfort of their own homes through Premium Video on Demand (PVOD)."

Why wasn't "Godzilla vs. Kong" available in Canada early on HBO Max or Crave?

In the United States, Warner Bros. will be releasing its 2021 theatrical films both in theaters and through HBO Max streaming for 31 days following their cinematic debuts.

However, it's important to note that HBO Max is not accessible through authorized means in Canada and may not be for several more years, if ever. As we extensively discussed in our December 2020 post about Wonder Woman 1984, no similar offerings as part of subscription streaming services have been made available in other countries. This includes Crave, HBO's long-standing partner in Canada, as well as HBO services operated by WarnerMedia in various regions, such as Latin America, Europe, and Asia. It's worth mentioning that this only applies to theatrical releases and not direct-to-streaming releases like Zack Snyder's Justice League, which premiered simultaneously on HBO Max and Crave.

Having said that, similar to other films distributed by Warner Bros., Godzilla vs. Kong can now be accessed through Crave (with Movies HBO) in the initial pay/streaming window. Traditionally, this streaming release occurs around 8-10 months after the film's theatrical debut. However, due to changes in the theatrical release, the payment release windows for this year's Warner Bros. movies have been expedited, in this instance, to late August 2021.

If there are no modifications to the current contracts, we anticipate that Godzilla vs. Kong will be available on Netflix Canada approximately 16 months after its availability on Crave, specifically by late 2022. (To learn more about this process, commonly referred to as "windowing," please refer to our October 2020 article on The Witches.)

Notable Revisions:

- August 22, 2021: Highlighted recent streaming release on Crave.

- April 18, 2021: Noted the possibility of an earlier streaming release on Crave, based on the WW84 schedule.

- March 31, 2021: Updated with direct links to available digital retailers.

- March 28, 2021: Completely rewritten to reflect the altered plans.

- March 25, 2021: Initial update reflecting Warner Bros.' decision to include PVOD, rather than solely theatrical distribution.

Interested in staying up-to-date on TV and streaming in Canada? We now offer a weekly email newsletter that provides news on hard-to-find programs coming to Canadian TV and streaming, as well as a list of recent site updates. Subscribe (for free!) below.

Where Can I Watch is published by Joshua Gorner, based in North York, Ontario, and is not associated with any broadcasters or streaming services. Our email address is [email protected] (additional contact information available upon request). We will store and utilize your address in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time; for more information, please visit our Newsletter page.

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