Anne Hathaway Says ‘The Idea of You’ Would Have Been the ‘Perfect’ Theater Movie for Moms

Anne Hathaway isn’t against the idea of a streaming-only release, but she still can recognize box office potential when she sees it.

The Oscar winner stars in and produces “The Idea of You,” which will have a streaming only release on Prime Video on May 2. Hathaway told Variety that while she is still excited that the romantic drama will reach a wide audience on the platform, she knows that the film would fulfill a missing target in theaters.

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“I’ve never had a movie this size be released [exclusively] on streaming, so I’m not really in a place to answer that question,” Hathaway said when asked about her take on whether or not streaming only was beneficial to this feature. “Part of me is excited that such a wide audience is going to have instant access to it. And a part of me [is aware that] there aren’t a lot of reasons for moms to grab each other by the hand and go to the movie theater; this movie would’ve been perfect for that.”

Hathaway pointed to the rise of DVD releases 30 years ago as not being detrimental to film-loving, despite not having a theater-going experience. Basically, it doesn’t matter how viewers watch “The Idea of You,” so long as they enjoy it.

“Some of my favorite romantic comedies came out in the ’90s and I watched them on home video. I never saw the original theatrical runs of ‘Pretty Woman,’ ‘Notting Hill,’ or ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ — clearly, I’m a Julia Roberts fan! —but I loved them,” Hathaway said. “A part of me loves the idea of having a huge worldwide theatrical hit. But it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the opportunity to have a different kind of [moviegoing experience].”

Earlier this year, fellow Prime Video feature “Road House” caused a streaming-only stir, leading director Doug Liman to publicly threaten to boycott his own film (though he eventually opted to quietly attend the premiere). Both “The Idea of You” and “Road House” debuted at the 2024 SXSW Festival.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal told Total Film magazine that “Amazon was always clear that it was streaming” during the development process.

“I just want as many people to see it as possible. And I think we’re living in a world that’s changing in how we see and watch movies, and how they’re made,” Gyllenhaal said. “I’ve also sat watching a film on my computer, or in different places, and been so profoundly moved. If the job of a story is to move people, I have been moved in both forms. I’m a deep lover of cinema and the theatrical release — but I also do really embrace the streaming world.”

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