If you have a Netflix or Showmax subscription, there is no shortage of entertainment to catch this weekend.
These video streaming services add new movies and TV shows every week, giving their customers more reasons to stay subscribed.
Internet-based streaming is not only threatening the continued existence of linear TV broadcasting and movie theatres, but has also resulted in a drop in Internet piracy.
Before South Africa got access to these platforms, many people resorted to downloading pirated versions of the latest titles.
This was largely because local broadcasters either did not have the latest or best series, or were only able to broadcast new seasons and episodes weeks after they had already released in the US.
Movies at the cinemas also took months to reach DVD stores, which meant that those who wanted to watch them at home either had to wait or download bootlegged copies available from torrent sites.
A lot has changed since then, with increased broadband access and speeds making it easier to deliver video content directly to users.
Netflix as a streaming pioneer
Netflix is the pioneer which drove the shift from owning or renting physical copies to streaming videos.
Initially launched as the world’s first online DVD rental store in 1998, the company offered a single-rental model which allowed customers to rent DVDs and have them delivered.
In the early 2000s it introduced a flat-fee subscription model which allowed its members to rent an unlimited number of titles without due dates or late fees.
In 2007 it began offering the option to stream certain movies and TV shows, and in 2010 it launched its streaming service as a standalone offering.
This was after it had become the largest source of Internet streaming traffic in North America during the evening.
Netflix was accessible to South Africans who had a VPN and were willing to pay US dollar prices, prior to its official launch in the country in 2016.
Its popularity at that stage had already piled pressure on leading pay-TV provider MultiChoice, which launched its own streaming service, Showmax, in 2015.
These streaming services now allow South Africans to get access to the latest movies and TV shows at the same time as their US counterparts.
Movies straight to your couch
The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought more film studios on board with the idea of releasing their movies to cinemas and streaming services simultaneously.
For example, Warner Bros. will be releasing all of its new 2021 movies on HBO Max at the same time that they hit theatres.
Given that the price of a single movie ticket is now around the same as either a Showmax Standard or Netflix Basic subscription, it becomes difficult to justify not watching the latest blockbusters at home.
Below are 10 of the best movies and TV shows added to Netflix and Showmax in the last week.
IMDb – 8.6
On a perilous adventure in a post-apocalyptic world, a boy who’s half human and half deer searches for a new beginning with a gruff protector.
Mare of Easttown
IMDb – 8.6
A detective in a small Pennsylvania town investigates a local murder while trying to keep her life from falling apart.
StartUp – S1-S3
IMDb – 8.0
An attempt to launder stolen money finances a cryptocurrency that puts entrepreneurs in business with a corrupt FBI agent and a Miami gang.
Friends: The Reunion
IMDb – 8.3
Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Lisa Kudrow return for an epic, momentous reunion.
Bo Burnham: Inside
IMDb – 9.0
A widowed new dad copes with doubts, fears, heartache and dirty diapers as he sets out to raise his daughter on his own.
The Matrix trilogy
IMDb – 6.7 to 8.7
A genre-defining special effects feast. Keanu Reeves stars as Neo in this sci-fi epic about people imprisoned in a fabricated system called The Matrix.
The Kid Detective
IMDb – 7.0
Between fighting off hangovers and bouts of self-pity, a former child sleuth finally catches his first case with actual stakes: a brutal murder.
The Walking Dead – S10
IMDb – 8.2
The final season of the the definitive zombie horror series.
IMDb – 6.8
A serene family vacation turns frightening when a family’s nightmarish doppelgängers descend upon their beachfront abode.
IMDb – 7.5
Richard Jewell, a security guard, alerts the police about a possible bomb in Centennial Park and is hailed as a hero. However, he soon becomes a prime suspect for the bombing.