The latest update from Max stated Barbie would be "streaming soon," while it was confirmed by Warner Bros. to make its streaming debut in the fall.
With the fall season officially ending on December 21, this leaves a limited amount of dates left for the summer blockbuster's release.
Was Barbie's Streaming Release Date Just Revealed by HBO?
HBO's newly revealed TV schedule for Saturday, December 16 may have revealed the streaming release date for Barbie. The listing placed Kevin Spacey's TV political drama Recount in its prime 8 p.m. slot, which many, including WhenToStream, have speculated to be a placeholder for Barbie.
Not only does HBO typically occupy this prime placement for a popular flick, but the network has often, including for The Flash and The Nun II, reserved this slot for a movie to air the day after it arrives on Max on a Friday.
On top of all the past confirmations pointing to Barbie finally making its streaming debut in the coming weeks, there are plenty of reasons to believe Recount to be nothing more than a placeholder for the Margot Robbie powerhouse.
In the Saturdays leading up to the potential December 16 airing of Barbie, HBO has placed some major blockbusters in that prime 8 p.m. slot including Now You See Me (November 25), Jurassic World (December 2), and Skyfall (December 9).
Recount would certainly mark a step-down from such popular theatrical blockbusters to a 15-year-old made-for-TV political drama - especially one featuring controversial star Kevin Spacey as the lead.
These movies also have a running theme of being PG-13 affairs fit for families on Saturday night after dinner time, while Recount is a mature political tale loaded with profanity and rated TV-MA (equivalent to an R rating).
Following HBO's listing, insiders are now expecting Barbie to begin streaming on Max on Friday, December 14, although a confirmation has yet to be made by the streamer.
Why Barbie's Streaming Release Took So Long
Warner Bros. has constantly tried to make the most of Barbie's unprecedented interest and success, having already held a special IMAX re-release in late September with some extra footage for one last box office push.
Even four months after its release, the movie continues to bring in a few thousand dollars each day at the domestic box office, despite having come to home release several weeks back for digital, Blu-ray, and DVD.
If Barbie were to come to Max on Friday, December 15, the movie would have a 147-day theatrical-to-streaming release window, finally bringing to pink hit to the Warner Bros. service just in time for the festive season.
One could somewhat compare this situation to last year's Top Gun: Maverick, which became a massive box office success and had a long 209-day theatrical-to-streaming window but arrived on Paramount+ just in time for the holiday.
By this point, months after its home release, Barbie will have grossed the majority of its potential revenue from sales, making now the perfect time to ensure Max subscribers can tune in to this year's biggest hit over the holiday.
Barbie is available now on digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD.