You probably want to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, right? With Jack Black’s wild-eyed antics, Karen Gillan’s short shorts, and the Rock being the Rock, it looks as if it could be worth the wait. But if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you won’t have to wait as long as the rest of us.
According to Variety, cinema-goers with Amazon Prime will be able to see Welcome to the Jungle on December 8, which is 12 days in advance of those of us without. Prime-rs can purchase up to 10 tickets in 1,000 participating theaters across the country, which include Regal, AMC, ArcLight Cinemas, and National Amusements.
It’s good news for those who have purchased Amazon Prime. For everyone else, it raises some concerns.
In order to see the film early, viewers in fact need to purchase Amazon Prime, at $10.99 a month. This creates a tricky incentive, to encourage people to pay Amazon in order to avoid the spoilers that make social media a minefield—and we spend 135 minutes per day there. Of course, this is in addition to purchasing the theater ticket, an average of $8.93 across the United States (and as high as $16 in New York City).
For those concerned with privacy, it also gives Amazon another data point in your spending habits. You’re the person who will pay extra for an early screening. For a company that traffics in data just as much as it does shoes and books, that's valuable.
Looking ahead, this partnership is only the latest deal that's been cut among streaming services and studios. It's already a million-dollar business to battle over streaming rights, and Netflix is actually debuting a big screen-caliber film next month straight to its streaming service in Bright. This is a fresh wrinkle, but still, it's one more layer that could pop up between a potential viewer and a new movie down the line.
Disney is already building its own streaming service, which will almost certainly cut Netflix's millions of viewers off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Pixar, and anything related to Star Wars. It would be simple enough for other media companies to build their own walled garden, and the streaming landscape stands to get a whole lot more complicated.
But it makes sense why Amazon wants to partner for Welcome to the Jungle. After all, the Amazon is the largest, most diverse jungle in the world (although it’s technically a tropical rainforest). All puns fully intended.
It also makes sense that Welcome to the Jungle would want to rake in viewership and buzz in advance of its official December 20 release date. Star Wars: The Last Jedi drops on December 15, and if it’s as good as expected, Welcome to the Jungle will have some major competition.