By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I heard on the radio that you can watch Barbie at home starting today!! Do you know the details? — Gina, Boston.
Gina, Barbie, the comedy/satire movie directed by Greta Gerwig, is the cultural hit of the year, shoveling in $1.4 billion 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 in July, 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. But when will it be available on PPV for home viewing, you ask? Today! You can now rent Barbie in 4K at Amazon’s Prime Video for $24.99. You can buy the digital edition in 4K for $29.99. (You can find Barbie at other video services as well, such as Vudu.)
In our article from July, we speculated that it could be late September or October before it goes to Max. And last month, 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. But you might see Barbie on Max by month’s end. But if you’re willing to spend $24.99, you can stream it now.
Gina, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann