Surprise! 'The Green Knight' Is Coming To Digital Earlier Than We Thought

Have you been unable to catch The Green Knight in theaters yet or simply want to re-watch the masterful Arthurian retelling as soon as possible from the comforts of your own home? Well, the good news is you won't have to wait "One year hence," as the eponymous Green Knight sinisterly told Gawain. The bad news is that this unexpected development would seem to defeat the entire purpose of the one-night-only streaming event that we very recently reported on. Is this some test of character and resolve by forces beyond our comprehension? Probably not, although it kind of feels like it.

This news comes straight from indie studio A24 themselves, as their official website lists an August 19, 2021 date for when The Green Knight will be made available digitally and on-demand through traditional streaming platforms such as Apple, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, and more. As A24 puts it,

"This Thursday, August 19th David Lowery's acclaimed Arthurian epic The Green Knight will be available everywhere you rent movies. Starring Dev Patel as the legendary Sir Gawain — there's no better company for a hot summer knight."

A Questionable Call

Look, far be it from me to second-guess the bean-counters and marketing gurus who literally do this sort of thing for a living. That said, isn't it pretty counterintuitive to tout an exclusive, one-time streaming event through the studio's own proprietary rental platform...only to then turn around and just make the film available through the usual means a day later? Undoubtedly, there are already quite a number of people who've paid for tickets to watch The Green Knight during that "special" screening at the specific time, under the impression that it wouldn't be available to stream for quite some time and unaware that they could've waited less than 24 hours to rent the movie and watch it whenever they wanted to.

On a larger scale, this is yet another example of studios rushing digital and video on demand options either soon after or during the theatrical run of a given movie. Clearly, there's more money to be made for certain movies during this pandemic through viewers renting movies digitally than there is through the box office. The Green Knight continues to perform admirably for a movie of its budget and target audience, but industry folks are taking increasingly drastic measures to ensure that they wring as many profits out of new movies as they possibly can. There's no telling what effect this will have on theatrical windows moving forward, but this is clearly a developing situation with no concrete end in sight.