Barbie Movie Gets New Online Release Update

By David Thompson Posted:
Barbie Margot Robbie movie

New evidence pointed to a shift in Warner Bros.' (WB) plan to release Barbie on digital platforms.

Previously, Barbie was expected to be available online for purchase on September 5, then it was reported that the date shifted to a week later on September 12.

As Barbie continues to dominate the box office, now up to over $1.34 billion (the most in WB. history) there appears to be less urgency to let audience members start to watch the Great Gerwig-directed film at home.

Barbie Digital Release Update

Barbie Movie poster
Warner Bros.

YouTube Movies updated its preorder Barbie page, adjusting the "Expected" release date from September 12 to "Not announced."

A side-by-side can be seen below of the marketing adjustment made from August to September:

YouTube Movies updated Barbie listing.
YouTube Movies

This is a clear indication that Barbie will not be made available online on September 12 and there are no signs pointing to when its digital release might be.

53 days following its theatrical opening did seem potentially unwise for the movie of the summer, proving how financially lucrative it can be when releasing a film in theaters.

A Change of Plans for Warner Bros.

Unlike its DC bombs like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Blue Beetle, Warner Bros. is set to continually promote audiences to go see Barbie in theaters.

In fact, on September 22, Barbie is being re-released in IMAX and will feature new post-credits footage.

It's still possible Barbie becomes available on VOD this month, but the odds are dwindling as WB looks to ring out as much money it can while the film plays in theaters.

During its six-week run thus far, Barbie's steepest drop came in weekend three at the domestic box office, earning -43% less than the week prior. 

Another important note is that as of weekend six, Barbie was still playing in roughly 3,900 theaters North American theaters, the most of any other film (per Box Office Pro).

The ongoing actors' strike may also play a factor in WB's continual push for Barbie in theaters, as films like Zendaya's Challengers and director Denis Villeneuve's Dune Part Two have been delayed to 2024. This has cleared out a long-term runway for Barbie, as well as Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer.

Barbie is now playing in theaters and will hit IMAX screens on September 22.

- In This Article: Barbie
Release Date
July 21, 2023
Issa Rae
Kate McKinnon
Ryan Gosling
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.