You can finally watch the much-anticipated thriller Promising Young Woman: the movie was released as a video-on-demand title on Jan. 15. When will it be available for streaming on “regular” services like Netflix or Hulu? It could be quite some time, to tell the truth, so video rental through an on-demand service will be your only option for a while.
With theaters shut down for the past year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on-demand streaming is essentially becoming the new, temporary version of theatrical release. With the exception of major titles that have deals with existing streaming platforms (for instance, Disney and Pixar films being released on Disney+ or Warner Bros. releasing its 2020 slate on HBO Max), new movies are getting their “first run” through on-demand streaming. That’s what Promising Young Woman is doing: since it doesn’t have an exclusive deal with any of the major streaming platforms, it’s currently available through several different on-demand services, including Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube, Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now, and others.
Will Promising Young Woman ever be available at all as part of a subscription-based streaming service? At this point, it really is too early to say. Traditionally, movie theaters have required a 90-day window between theatrical release and availability on a secondary service (like streaming), but the changing norms due to the pandemic have upended all of that. It does seem safe to say it would be at least a few months before the movie might become available on a streaming platform, as opposed to on its own as an on-demand rental.
We might have one small clue about the movie’s streaming future. It’s distributed by Focus Features, which, in the past year, has sent several of its buzziest titles to HBO Max following on-demand releases. Last year’s titles like Emma. and The High Note have followed this path, so it’s entirely possible Promising Young Woman will, too. For now, though, your only option is on demand, and it will probably stay that way for several months.