‘The Batman’ Isn’t Streaming on HBO Max for Weeks, Sorry – CNET

‘The Batman’ Isn’t Streaming on HBO Max for Weeks, Sorry – CNET

The Batman faces Catwoman with a city's skyline at sunset behind them
Jonathan Olley/DC

The COVID-19 pandemic, and its profound disruptions to new movies, triggered an unprecedented wave of theatrical films being released on streaming services at the same time they hit cinemas. HBO Max, in particular, became synonymous with the practice. 

So with The Batman hitting theaters and bringing the DC superhero back to the big screen this weekend, HBO Max is the first place people are likely to look. Not only was Max the most prolific same-day streaming service last year, it’s also home base for other big DC Comics movies. 

But confusion around this same-day streaming practice has led to some misguided hope among moviegoers when any new movie hits theaters. Without news standards for when movies move to streaming, lots of people get curious whenever any film hits the big screen whether it’s streaming too.

Is The Batman available to stream on HBO Max? Or anywhere? 

No. The Batman is being released exclusively in cinemas this week. 

The Batman is distributed by Warner Bros., which is run by the same company as HBO Max. However, HBO Max ended its practice of putting every Warner Bros. release on HBO Max to stream the same day it hits theaters. While some films may get same-day Max releases like that, The Batman isn’t one of them. 

When will The Batman’s streaming release date be?

HBO Max will be the first place that The Batman will stream eventually, but the company hasn’t confirmed a date yet. Warner Bros. has committed to giving its films at least 45 days in theaters exclusively — but it’s not obligated to put the films on HBO Max as soon as those 45 days are over. 

Generally, Warner Bros. movies have been hitting HBO Max roughly five months after their initial theatrical releases.

If the studio put the movie on Max as soon as the 45-day theatrical exclusive was over, then The Batman would be available to stream there sometime in mid-April. 

If The Batman follows the roughly five-month practice, it would be available to stream on Max sometime around June, July or August.

But that five-month streaming timeline was the precedent set back when Warner Bros. was giving all its movies a same-day streaming release for one month at the very start of the release cycle. Now that Warner Bros. movies like The Batman aren’t getting that initial period on HBO Max, the time they take to start streaming may change.

What about other movies in theaters recently? Did any hit streaming the same day?

Next week, Disney Plus will stream Pixar’s next film, Turning Red, starting March 11. Disney is essentially skipping theaters in any country where Disney Plus is up and running, while in places where Disney Plus hasn’t launched, it’ll be released in theaters. 

Marry Me, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson, hit theaters last month at the same time it debuted on Peacock. Peacock is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Universal Pictures is the distributor of Marry Me. You’ll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch it or any of Peacock’s other paywalled programming.

Some other movies from a few months ago are still streaming on services after they, too, were available same day as theatrical releases. Clifford the Big Red Dog is streaming on Paramount Plus, which also requires a $5- or $10-a-month membership. And Peacock is also streaming Halloween Kills, where (like Marry Me) it’s behind the paywall. 

But pretty much any other movie that’s been released in cinemas recently hasn’t been available on a streaming service same-day. 

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