'Don't Worry Darling' Won't Stream for Weeks (Maybe Months)

If you want to see the movie with mountains of behind-the-scenes drama, you'll need to fork up for a theater ticket for weeks at least. Here's when it may start streaming.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
3 min read
Harry Styles and Florence Pugh cuddle in bed in the movie Don't Worry Darling.

Don't Worry Darling, starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, hit theaters (and only theaters) Friday. 

Warner Bros

Don't Worry Darling's behind-the-scenes drama has been grabbing headlines for months. Hitting theaters (and only theaters) Friday, it's also the latest buzzy film without a clear date that it will become available to stream.

Movies distributed by Warner Bros., like Don't Worry Darling, became synonymous with same-day streaming releases last year, when every 2021 Warner Bros. movie hit HBO Max at the same time it landed in cinemas. But HBO Max ended that practice as of the beginning of this year. Warner Bros. committed to giving its theatrical releases at least 45 days in theaters exclusively -- but it isn't obligated to put those films on HBO Max as soon as the 45 days are over.  

Adding another wrinkle to the mix: Warner Bros. parent company went through a big merger in the middle of this year, becoming a company called Warner Bros. Discovery. The change upended leadership, and it resulted in some surprise changes to how WB movies are (or aren't) being released and the timeline to reach HBO Max streaming. So even precedents set by movies earlier this year aren't reliable for making predictions. 

Here's what to know.  

How long until Don't Worry Darling starts streaming? 

HBO Max will be the first place Don't Worry Darling will be available to stream, but it doesn't have a streaming release date set yet. 

However, some other recent films can provide clues about what to expect. 

At least two titles have come out since the Warner Bros. Discovery regime began, and they could suggest a possible streaming-release window for Don't Worry Darling. Elvis, the biographical drama, hit cinemas on June 24, and it was exclusively in theaters for 70 days before it started streaming Sept. 2. And DC League of Super-Pets, the animated movie based in the DC franchise, hit cinemas on July 29, and it was given a theatrical exclusive for 59 days before its streaming release date set for Monday. 

If Don't Worry Darling stays within a similar range, it would be arriving on HBO Max to stream between roughly Nov. 21 and Dec. 2. 

But that's only an educated guess. It could arrive as early as Nov. 7 if, for some reason, the company decides to start streaming as soon as the 45-day guarantee in theaters is over. Or it could take until early next year. 

Will it be 'free' to stream? 

Since HBO Max requires a paid subscription, nothing on the service is literally free. But HBO Max has never charged an extra fee to watch a movie on its service.

Will Don't Worry Darling be paywalled on HBO Max? 

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-free one that's more expensive and a cheaper one with advertising. On some other platforms, new theatrical movies are sometimes paywalled behind a pricier tier when they first start streaming, and back when HBO Max was doing same-day streaming all the time, those movies were exclusive to people paying for the higher-priced plan. It's unlikely that will happen with Don't Worry Darling -- it's expected to be available for all HBO Max subscribers when it becomes available to stream.