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'The Black Phone' Isn't Streaming Yet, Sorry

The Black Phone's streaming release is expected about 45 days after hitting theaters -- though it could be longer.

A villain in a creepy mask looks forward, with his captive out of focus in the background.
The Black Phone opened in theaters -- and only theaters -- Friday. 
Universal Pictures

The Black Phone hit US theaters Friday. But fans who want to watch it at home will need to wait awhile before it's available on a streaming service. 

Last year, an unprecedented number of new theatrical movies streamed online the same day they hit cinemas. But this year, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and audiences have returned to cinemas, the practice has nearly vanished. Pretty much all movies now get at least a month and a half in theaters exclusively -- often longer. And the timelines that a theatrical film becomes available to stream are all over the map. 

Where will The Black Phone stream?

The Black Phone is set stream on Peacock eventually. It's being distributed in the US by Universal Pictures, which is owned by the same company as Peacock. The service has a deal to be the first place to stream Universal-distributed movies. 

When will The Black Phone start streaming? 

Peacock and Universal haven't confirmed the streaming release date for the movie yet. But the publicly announced terms of Peacock's deal to stream movies like The Black Phone gives us a timeframe to expect it. It'll likely start streaming after it has 45 days in theaters, though it could take as long as four months since its theatrical release. 

If The Black Phone were to hit Peacock exactly after the 45-day period, then it would become available to stream after the first week of August. 

But if it took nearly the full four months before landing on Peacock, then the movie would start streaming sometime in late October. 

Will The Black Phone be free to stream on Peacock? 

No, Peacock routinely puts new movies like The Black Phone behind its paywall. 

If you don't already have a premium Peacock subscription, you'll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or a $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch the film or any of Peacock's other paywalled programming (like YellowstonePremier League matchesWWE, The Office and other popular stuff).

Peacock has some deals that could reduce -- or even eliminate -- your cost of being a premium member.  

But the movie is expected to be available to Peacock premium subscribers without any additional fee. So if you're already a premium subscriber to Peacock, then you'll be able to stream it just like anything else on the service.