As the media landscape fractures into a cornucopia of streaming services offering libraries boasting 10,000-plus hours of film and TV content, some audiences just want to watch more Friends — in theaters.
After September’s 25th anniversary screenings of 12 episodes of the NBC sitcom grossed a surprising $2.9 million from more than 1,600 theaters, the company behind the stunt is trying its luck again.
Eight Thanksgiving-themed Friends episodes will debut in theaters nationwide on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, Fathom Events said Thursday. The company said that it’s still confirming its theater count, but the episodes are expected to play in about 700 locations.
“We’re excited to put eight classic episodes on the big screen for fans to celebrate with their friends, just in time for Thanksgiving,” stated Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom, which works with exhibitors to screen concerts, classic films and sports games in theaters.
The series, which ran from 1994 to 2004 on NBC, has kept its pop culture relevancy as a Netflix staple in recent years, along with other library shows like The Office and Seinfeld.
The sitcom, however, will be departing Netflix in 2020, where it will reappear on WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service, HBO Max, when it launches in May 2020 at a monthly price of $15. The show is still airing on linear TV in syndication on TBS and elsewhere.
Warner Bros. Television Group president and chief marketing officer Lisa Gregorian said of the theatrical gambit, “These Thanksgiving-themed episodes were digitally remastered for theaters, and we hope the fans enjoy coming together to feast on these classics and celebrate with a Happy Friendsgiving.”