By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, is there any update on when Barbie will be available on streaming? We have seen it twice and want to watch it at home! — Jennie, Hermosa Beach, California. 

Jennie, Barbie, the comedy/satire movie directed by Greta Gerwig, is the cultural hit of the year, shoveling in more than $800 million at the global box office to date. The film stars Margot Robbie as the living doll, Barbie, with Ryan Gosling as her male sidekick, Ken. As we noted last month, the film will be available on Max when it’s available on a streaming service, although it will first be added to home video as a separate pay-per-view offering. (Think $19.99 for a single buy.) In our article, we speculated that it could be late September or October before it goes to Max. And yesterday, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, whose company owns Max, confirmed that Max will get Barbie in the fall.

“We really believe in the motion picture window. Let this movie go to the motion picture window, play it up, build up that brand, then have it go into PVOD (pay-per-view). Take it through these windows of economics that have worked forever, and we think work extremely well. And then put it on Max. And when it goes on Max, we think it’ll have a very good impact and that’ll be in the fall,” Zaslav told financial analysts in an earnings call following the release of the company’s second quarter report.

Theatrical movies make their home video debuts much faster than in the pre-Covid days. Many films are added to streaming services less than a month after their theatrical release. But Barbie is different in more ways than one. The film is so popular that WBD executives want to keep it playing at your local Bijou for longer than normal to keep the theatrical revenue coming in. Zaslav, who was critical of the previous HBO Max management team for moving theatrical films to streaming even earlier than normal, is particularly mindful of this.

Jennie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann