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Brendan Fraser’s ‘The Whale’ Gets Limited Release on Dec. 9; When Will it be Available to Stream?

David Satin

The wait is finally over, at least for movie-goers in Los Angeles and New York City. Those are the initial markets that will see the theatrical release of Brendan Fraser’s highly anticipated new movie “The Whale” on Friday, Dec. 9.

Since “The Whale” is an A24 film, and because it is getting a theatrical release, it will eventually land on both the premium cable channel SHOWTIME and its corresponding streaming service. Just when the film will be available to stream, however, is still unclear. A Showtime spokesperson told The Streamable, “Typically titles would come to us around eight months after theatrical release, but that’s not a definite.”

If A24 and SHOWTIME follow that schedule, it would bring “The Whale” to the service in July 2023.

“The Whale” follows Charlie, a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity. Charlie was abandoned by his lover, who later dies, which sends Charlie into a depression so deep that he decides to literally eat himself to death. Seeking one last shot at redemption, Charlie attempts to reconnect with his estranged 17-year-old daughter, played by “Stranger Things” breakout star Sadie Sink.

Watch a trailer for “The Whale”:

The movie has been making the rounds at film festivals since September, where it has generated so much buzz that it has essentially revitalized Fraser’s career. Now, the movie is getting a limited theatrical release, with a wider release likely to follow in the coming weeks. The timing of the release positions the film perfectly for awards season, and Fraser has been getting serious buzz for everything up to, and including, the Oscars. Fraser’s return to the spotlight — coupled with the goodwill that seemingly everyone who knows him has for the actor — has made the lead-up to the release of “The Whale” one of the feel-good stories of the year from Hollywood.

Even given the information provided by the Showtime representative, it’s not immediately clear when the film will head to streaming. The company has used different release schedules and theatrical windows, much shorter than eight months in the past. For instance, “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,” the absurdist comedy-drama film starring Michelle Yeoh, took 74 days to become available to purchase via transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) hubs when it was released earlier in 2022. Much like “The Whale, that movie also saw a limited release, playing in a few cities on March 25 before rolling out more widely on April 8. It was available for streaming purchase on June 5.

On the other hand, “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once” finally came to SHOWTIME in November, timed for an awards season For-Your-Consideration campaign. That factor could keep “The Whale” in theaters for longer than 70 days, as the film’s producers might want to give awards voters every possible chance to see the movie before the Academy Awards on March 12, 2023; or, they could rush it to streaming in order to have the same impact digitally.

Our best guess is that “The Whale” gets around a 75-day theatrical window before becoming available on TVOD platforms. That will give A24 plenty of time to build hype for the film in theaters. It would also bring the movie to streaming sometime around Feb. 22, one week before Oscar voting begins. That would allow A24 to unleash another advertising blitz to promote the film’s awards chances, and to capitalize on them as well.

So for those wondering when the movie might head to streaming, Feb. 22, 2023 is our estimate.


SHOWTIME offers a subscription video streaming service that gives access to content on Showtime without the need of a cable subscription. With your subscription, you’ll get access to all of their current originals like Yellowjackets, Billions, and American Gigolo. If you choose to bundle Showtime with Paramount+, you can get both services for $11.99/month.

With your subscription, you’ll also get access to their critically acclaimed catalog of previous shows like Shameless, Homeland, Ray Donovan, Dexter, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, House of Lies, Californication, Queer as Folk, and The L Word.

SHOWTIME also has new-release films from CBS Films, Amblin Partners, and IFC Films, which appear on the streaming service 7-8 months after they are in theaters. Every month they also have hundreds of additional older movies from major movie studios.

You can subscribe for $10.99 a month either directly from SHOWTIME, or through Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels, or Roku Premium Subscriptions.


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