- Barbie‘s VOD release date is no longer featured in pre-order listings, suggesting its digital release date may have been delayed.
- Warner Bros. executives may have changed their minds about the digital release to capitalize on Barbie‘s continued success at the box office.
- Delaying the VOD release could allow Barbie to maintain its strong theatrical performance, as demonstrated by the success of other films like Top Gun: Maverick.
Barbie has potentially had its VOD release date delayed, with the film’s previously-planned date no longer included in pre-order listings. Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film based on the iconic Mattel doll continues to be a massive global success critically and commercially. It came as something of a surprise, then, that the film’s digital release date was set for early September.
Now, as Barbie‘s announced VOD release date looms, there may have been a change of plans. While the film is still available for pre-order, neither September 5 nor the updated VOD release date of September 12 are included in any of the listings. Hollywood expert Luiz Fernando speculates that Warner Bros. executives may have changed their minds regarding the film’s digital release as a result of its continued success in theaters.
Fernando’s tweet, above, also shares that Barbie‘s release on physical media is now scheduled for January 2, 2024. Screen Rant has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.
Is Pushing Barbie’s Digital Release Date A Good Idea?
Even with the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon signaling early on that there was a great deal of hype for both Gerwig’s movie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, both films have still exceeded expectations. Barbie‘s box office has broken a number of records both domestically and globally, with the film currently sitting at a staggering $1.38 billion worldwide.
Even though Gerwig’s movie continued to dominate in theaters, Warner Bros. set Barbie‘s digital release date for early September on August 16. This announcement came as something of a surprise because it would, after all, seemingly detract from the movie’s potential earnings in theaters. Since the announcement, Barbie has continued to be a strong draw for audiences around the world, and a delay would allow the film to maintain its theatrical legs for the weeks to come.
As Fernando mentions in his tweet, 2022’s Top Gun: Maverick enjoyed staggering legs at the box office, remaining a top audience choice even months after its release. Executives at Warner Bros. may have realized that Barbie is playing far better than expected, meaning it would be more valuable to keep it in theaters than release it on VOD or Max. It remains to be seen just how much longer Barbie will continue to be a draw in theaters, but delaying the film’s VOD release date is certainly a logical move.