Here’s some good news for your blanket and hot cocoa staying warm this holiday season. Sony’s upcoming cozy family flick Happiest Season, which stars Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis and Schitt’s Creek creator/star Daniel Levy, is the latest movie to skip theaters and find a new home on streaming instead. The Christmas rom-com will keep its Thanksgiving week release date and follow in the footsteps of many other studio films this year.
Happiest Season has been acquired from Sony Pictures by Hulu for U.S. distribution rights. The studios have announced they will share the rights to the Christmas movie, with the opportunity for the film to show in theaters in Canada and other places internationally apart from it joining Hulu’s exclusive titles next month.
The holiday movie centered on a queer couple follows Hulu’s record-breaking move over the summer to distribute Palm Springs. The summer rom-com became one the highly-rated reviewed films of 2020 and broke streaming records. Hulu also acquired the thriller Run from Lionsgate, which will now start streaming on November 20 after its spring 2020 theatrical date was delayed.
Happiest Season follows Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis’ Abby and Harper, a couple who are getting serious just in time for the holidays. Harper plans to propose to Abby during Christmas dinner, but she’ll have to come out to her family first. The movie also stars GLOW’s Alison Brie, Parks and Rec’s Aubrey Plaza, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen. It was written by Mary Holland and Clea DuVall, the latter of whom also directed and said this about the move to Hulu:
I am beyond grateful to Hulu for providing an incredible home for Happiest Season, and I’ll forever cherish my journey with Sony Pictures who felt just as strongly as I did about the value of bringing the first major LGBTQ+ holiday rom-com to audiences. I’m hopeful that this universal story, told through a unique lens, will join the long list of holiday classics that continue to bring all of us so much joy and happiness.
This certainly seems to be the best decision for Happiest Season given the circumstances still facing theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it’s a holiday-specific movie, it would have had to move out an entire year, even though it's a small to mid-budget flick. Happiest Season can still potentially make money overseas and with a possible concurrent drive-in roll-out, such as what Palm Springs did across the U.S.
It sounds like the movie will provide families with laughs, a message of acceptance and bring light to the struggles LGBTQ+ people face during the holidays. Happiest Season is coming to Hulu on November 25. Check out what other movies are closing out the year with CinemaBlend’s 2020 movie release schedule.