Oppenheimer Streaming Release Breaks a Frustrating Record for Universal

By David Thompson Posted:
Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy Movie background

Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is set to break a frustrating streaming record for Universal Pictures.

Christopher Nolan chose to work with Universal on Oppenheimer partially due to his desire for a theatrically exclusive window of at least 100 days.

It was a great decision by Universal as Oppenheimer is one of the biggest movies of the year (grossing a whopping $950 million worldwide) and will ultimately have a 123-day theatrical exclusive run before becoming available on digital platforms.

However, the film has yet to begin streaming on Peacock, setting a new standard for other Universal films.

Oppenheimer Breaks Frustrating Universal Streaming Record

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer has broken a frustrating record for the longest wait for a Universal film to begin streaming on Peacock following its theatrical release.

During Summer 2021, Universal entered into an agreement with NBC's streaming platform, Peacock, to make its latest theatrical releases available on the service. 

Typically, this would be for 120 days or less. Previously, The Super Mario Bros. Movie held the record from theaters to streaming with a 120-day window.

Oppenheimer arrived in theaters on July 21 (alongside Warner Bros.' Barbie), and there are currently no set plans for its streaming release 121 days after its opening.

This has grown frustrating for fans looking to watch Oppenheimer at home for no extra cost (if they subscribe to Peacock).

Here's the full list of Universal's longest theatrical-to-streaming windows under its Peacock deal, with The Super Mario Bros. Movie currently holding the record:

  • The Bad Guys: April 22, 2022 - July 1, 2022 (70 days)
  • Jurassic World Dominion: June 10, 2022 - September 2, 2022 (84 days)
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru: July 1, 2022 - September 23, 2022 (84 days)
  • Nope: July 22, 2022 - November 18, 2022 (119 days)
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: December 21, 2022 - March 10, 2023 (80 days)
  • Fast X: May 19, 2023 - September 15, 2023 (119 days)
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: April 5, 2023 - August 3, 2023 (120 days)

Oppenheimer will have the longest theater-to-streaming window, but it has not been announced exactly what it will be.

When Will Oppenheimer Begin Streaming?

Oppenheimer continues to be marketed in several ways, none of which are promoting a streaming release on Peacock.

Its physical release (4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD) is Tuesday, November 21. Christopher Nolan recently said they "put a lot of care and attention into the Blu-ray version:"

"And in the case of ‘Oppenheimer,’ we put a lot of care and attention into the Blu-ray version… and trying to translate the photography and the sound, putting that into the digital realm with a version you can buy and own at home and put on a shelf..."

Unfortunately, for those waiting on its streaming release, Nolan joked that having the physical media is important "so no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.”

In addition to this negative streaming update, Oppenheimer returned to IMAX theaters for a one-week encore presentation that started on November 3 at several theaters worldwide.

Its worldwide box office total now sits at $949 million, the second-highest-grossing R-rated film of all time behind 2019's Joker.

All evidence has pointed to Universal being in no rush to release Oppenheimer on streaming, possibly to appease Nolan and hopefully work with him again.

To be fair, streaming the three-hour biopic on a phone or tablet certainly isn't the optimal viewing experience, but audiences are now accustomed to being able to stream new movies soon after their release.

With that being said, Universal could be eyeing a 150-day theater-to-streaming window, putting Oppenheimer's streaming date on Peacock on Monday, December 18.

However, based on the lack of urgency thus far with streaming Oppenheimer, it may not become available until 2024, giving fans plenty of time to purchase the film online or buy the well-crafted Blu-ray.

Oppenheimer will be available to purchase on Tuesday, November 21.

- In This Article: Oppenheimer
Release Date
July 21, 2023
Cillian Murphy
Matt Damon
- 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.