Is ‘The Woman King’ Available to Stream? When Will It Be Available on Netfix, Hulu?
Emmy, Tony, and Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis is returning to the silver screen this weekend. Davis stars in Sony Pictures’ newest offering “The Woman King.” Davis plays General Nanisca, the leader of an all-female group of warriors tasked with defending the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the early 1800s. “The Woman King” hits theaters Friday, Sept. 16.
The film is based on real historical figures, which offered unique challenges in production according to director Gina Prince-Blythewood. “The biggest eye-opener,” she told the Los Angeles Times, “was how much misinformation there is about these women and this culture, given that so much of their history was written from the colonizer’s point of view. So it was really about separating the texts that were from that point of view, which were so disparaging and disrespectful, from the truth.”
“The Woman King” opened at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9. It has been very well received by critics, and currently holds a 100% rating on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers had special praise for the film’s fight scenes, choreography, performances, and direction.
Check out a trailer for “The Woman King”:
If you’re ready to go into battle with “The Woman King,” but would rather not battle the crowds at the theater to see it, you may be wondering when it will be available to stream. As it’s being distributed by Sony Pictures, there are a few different options as to when it will be available, but thanks to a deal that Sony signed with Netflix, we do know where the film will stream first.
Netflix has an exclusive 18-month window to stream Sony films once they leave theaters, so “The Woman King” will land there first. After those 18 months, Sony films jump to Disney, but because of its more adult subject matter, it’s a good bet that “The Woman King” will land on Hulu instead of Disney+, but by the time it reverts to Disney those two services might be combined into one.
So now that we know where the film will stream, the question becomes when will it leave its theatrical window and head to streaming? That question is harder to answer. Sony is notorious for acting as something of an arms dealer in order to maximize the revenue that its titles generate, allowing them to debut on streaming services only after squeezing every theatrical and on-demand dollar it can.
“I think the keyword is ‘flexibility’ in the windowing,” Sony CEO Anthony J. Vinciquerra said. “‘Spiderman[: No Way Home]’ was in theaters for 90-plus days because it kept going. Some films, we’ve had less than 45 days, not a lot, but films that weren’t doing great in the theater, we [pulled] out because it wasn’t helping the theaters, or it wasn’t helping us so why not go to the other windows. But 45 days does feel like the right number for the majority of films, but you’ll see longer and shorter [windows from Sony], I think.”
So what does this mean for “The Woman King?” It partially depends on how well the film does in theaters. Critical buzz will probably help drive attendance, but the movie is almost certainly not going to drive the demand of a tentpole film like “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Sony also likes to make use of paid video on demand (PVOD) windows to make its films available for rental or purchase before streaming them, so expect the company to capitalize on “The Woman King” on PVOD platforms as well.
Ultimately, “The Woman King” will likely perform better than “Where The Crawdads Sing,” another Sony-distributed film. The Streamable predicted that film would hover around the 120-day window before heading to streaming, as opposed to the 210 days that “No Way Home” received.
“The Woman King” should fall somewhere in the middle, so it’s a good bet that “The Woman King” could show up on Netflix around February or March, which would also help it build potential Oscar buzz. The holidays are coming though, and Sony may well try to drop the film between Thanksgiving and Christmas to maximize holiday views.