“Barbie” is the biggest box office hit of the year, but don’t expect it to be streaming on Max anytime soon. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav touted the film’s monumental success on the company’s second-quarter earnings call, but reiterated that the company is committed to a traditional movie window for its releases, with “Barbie” set to hit Max 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. 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.”
JB Perrette, president and CEO of global streaming and games for WBD, added that films are “very important” to the Max strategy, and even those that don’t perform well theatrically have a second life on the streaming service.
“We sort of benefit on Max in both ways, even the titles that don’t necessarily perform as well as we wanted them to at the box office. By the time they get to Max, because fewer people have seen them and they are newer to more people, they do well.”
Obviously “Barbie” is not of that ilk (though certainly “The Flash” is, which doesn’t yet have a streaming date), and Perrette said he expects Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster to do “incredibly well” once it starts streaming on Max this fall.
A specific streaming release date for “Barbie” has not been set as the film continues to do incredible business at the box office, and as Zaslav touted, PVOD will be an additional strong source of revenue for the company before it’s offered to Max subscribers.
In just over two weeks of release, “Barbie” has grossed over $800 million worldwide.