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Barbie's Streaming Date Gives Us A Hint About Oppenheimer's

Want to do a "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" double feature at home? You might have to wait a while. 

"Barbenheimer" shows no signs of stopping in its cultural dominance. The box office phenomenon has collectively grossed over $850 million domestically and nearly $2 billion worldwide, making the cinematic twin flames some of the most profitable films this year. Released in late July, both films have proven to be the perfect summer fixtures that studios desperately crave. Even in their fifth week at the box office, both are continuing to make waves. Of course, that momentum will stop sooner or later, especially as the summer movie season wraps up.

Luckily, audiences looking to revisit "Barbenheimer" can do so at home, at least partially. Warner Bros. Pictures and Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" will hit digital store shelves on September 5 2023. Viewers eager to rewatch Margot Robbie's exploits as the iconic doll will be able to do so from home on their favorite PVOD (Premium Video on Demand) platform. This early September release date is in line with Warner Bros. Pictures' exclusive 45 day theatrical window. While it remains to be seen when "Barbie" leaves cinemas for good — it's currently dominating in over 4000 theatres stateside, per The Numbers — audiences don't have to wait long to see the film at home. It's unclear when the film will hit Max, though one can assume that Warner Bros. will try and squeeze out every penny from PVOD before it debuts the project on their homegrown streaming service. 

But what about "Oppenheimer"? Unfortunately, it doesn't look like both films will debut on PVOD or streaming on the same day. Seeing as director Christopher Nolan reportedly negotiated a 90 to 120 day exclusive theatrical window for "Oppenheimer" per Variety, it's unlikely that audiences can expect to stream the film soon. 

Oppenheimer might start streaming in October

The report by Variety says that Christopher Nolan, who jumped ship from Warner Bros. Pictures to Universal Pictures after the release of 2020's "Tenet," negotiated a 90 to 120 day theatrical window for "Oppenheimer. It's unclear if the British auteur actually received it. Considering the fact that "Oppenheimer" has grossed over $700 million worldwide and has consistent, steady legs, it's possible that Universal Pictures will give Nolan the window that he wanted. So far, the film has been out in cinemas for just over a month and is barely showing signs of withering.

As it stands, "Oppenheimer" is set to dominate in most IMAX cinemas until the release of Denzel Washington's "The Equalizer 3," which debuts on September 1. The World War II flick has already given a number of its prestigious IMAX screens over to Warner Bros.' "Blue Beetle." Of course, "Oppenheimer" can take over in other PLF (Premium Large Format) screens if there's space.

Should Nolan get his extended theatrical window, it's all but possible that "Oppenheimer" won't hit PVOD until mid-October. Perhaps Universal Pictures will even save the film until November, coinciding with the Thanksgiving holidays. While a digital release strategy hasn't been confirmed, it's likely that the film will be available on PVOD for a few weeks, or even months, before it hits Peacock. Those hoping to do a "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" double feature at home will likely have to wait until mid-October or early November to replicate the iconic phenomenon at home. It certainly would have been hilarious (and genius) to have both films grace streaming on the same day but, alas, life isn't perfect. Seeing as there's still a considerable time until then, audiences should make it a point to revisit both films in cinemas while they can. 

Christopher Nolan wants audiences to see Oppenheimer in cinemas

It's no secret that Christopher Nolan is a huge proponent for the cinematic experience — it's one of the reasons why he called it quits with Warner Bros. Pictures. Following the release of "Tenet" and the studio's decision to debut its 2021 theatrical slate on Max, Nolan publicly called out the studio he called home for two decades. "There's such controversy around it, because they didn't tell anyone," Nolan told Entertainment Tonight about Warner Bros.' decision back in 2020. "... They've got some of the biggest stars in the world who worked for years in some cases on these projects very close to their hearts that are meant to be big-screen experiences," the director said, before describing the situation as "messy." 

By 2021, Nolan had made the decision to  wrap up his creative relationship with Warner Bros., deciding to move forward with Universal Pictures, a studio that was willing to play ball with his demands. Based on the critical and financial reception that "Oppenheimer" has basked in, one can only imagine the joy and excitement that Universal execs feel for being able to poach Nolan. 

When it came to the release of "Oppenheimer," Nolan was adamant that his biopic on the father of the atomic bomb was meant for the big screen, especially in IMAX. "We put a lot of effort into shooting the film in a way that we can get it out on these large format screens," the director told The Associated Press. "It really is just a great way of giving people an experience that they can't possibly get in the home." Audiences are clearly receptive to Nolan's vision, as they showed up in droves to make "Oppenheimer" a box office juggernaut.