Oppenheimer Streaming Release: Why the Wait to Watch Online Could Take Much Longer

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy in hat

The wait for Oppenheimer to come to streaming will likely be a long one - here's everything we know about why and its potential release date.

Christopher Nolan's WW2 biopic came to theaters on July 21 alongside Barbie, and both made an immediate splash - critically, financially, and with moviegoers.

Why Oppenheimer May Start Streaming Later Than Expected

Oppenheimer Cillian Murphy

Christopher Nolan reportedly chose Universal to release Oppenheimer in order to secure a longer theatrical-exclusive window, with Variety's sources stating he asked for a window between 90 and 120 days for the biopic.

Puck's Matt Beloni stated Universal was able to secure the project after agreeing to a 120-day theatrical window, which will keep Oppenheimer out of homes until near Thanksgiving.

On the road to Oppenheimer, Nolan made a sizable push for audiences to experience the movie in theaters, particularly in IMAX, so it makes sense for him to want his WW2 biopic to only be available on the big screen for a long time.

Oppenheimer has also notably been a box office juggernaut, having grossed $569 million worldwide at the time of writing, as analysts predict its final total could climb as high as $900 million.

Obviously, the movie still has a ways to go for that to happen, which will require it to remain theatrical-exclusive for a while, especially as it still hasn't even begun its time in the massive market of China, where it won't arrive until August 30.

Universal has also been seen extending the streaming waits for some of its more successful movies lately, with The Super Mario Bros. Movie not coming to Peacock for 120 days after release, toppling a record for the Hollywood studio.

When Will Oppenheimer Release on Peacock

According to Puck's Matt Belloni, a major reason Christopher Nolan chose Universal for Oppenheimer, as opposed to Warner Bros., was its willingness to distribute the movie with a 120-day theatrical-exclusive window.

Interestingly, Universal has a streaming deal with NBC's streaming service Peacock for most of its new movies. That deal requires all of its releases to come to Peacock within 120 days of theatrical release.

Oppenheimer will have to arrive on streaming exactly 120 days after its theatrical release in order to honor both its theatrical-exclusivity deal with Nolan and its agreement with Peacock to come to the service within the designated window.

The Peacock deal also requires Universal's movies to be available on the service for the first and last four months of the 18-month window after their streaming debut, allowing movies to be shopped to other services for the middle ten months.

In theory, Oppenheimer ought to begin streaming on Peacock on Saturday, November 18, just in time for the American Thanksgiving of the following week, which takes place this year on Thursday, November 23.

The movie will likely receive its digital release around a similar date with its physical debut on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD slightly after, based on previous patterns of movies coming to physical media at least several weeks after digital platforms.

Oppenheimer is playing now in theaters.

- In This Article: Oppenheimer
Release Date
July 21, 2023
Cillian Murphy
Matt Damon
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.