1.23.2020 1:00 PM

Streaming Wars

'Knives Out' digital release could reveal when it's coming to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or Amazon Prime

Rian Johnson's best movie deserves to be on your TV ASAP.

Rian Johnson's murder mystery masterpiece, Knives Out was released in theaters November 27, and for many of us longing for a rewatch — or those unfortunate few who didn't get a chance to see it in theaters — the most important mystery right now is if and when it's releasing on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, or some other streaming service. Thanks to an official announcement from the Knives Out Twitter account, we may have something close to an answer.

Knives Out is releasing digitally to buy (and probably rent) on February 7 and on physical formats February 25. There's still no real way to know exactly when the film might make its way to a familiar streaming platform. However, you don't need to be Benoit Blanc to solve this particular mystery.

Knives Out is distributed by Lionsgate Films, which historically has sold the streaming rights to films like Hellboy (2019) and Long Shot to HBO. Those films were released in theaters April 12 and May 3 of last year, respectively. Then in December, HBO began streaming Long Shot on December 7 and Hellboy on December 12. If we take these as precedents, then it takes about 8 months before a Lionsgate movie is added to the HBO library, assuming HBO and Lionsgate negotiate a price for the streaming rights. That may hold true for Knives Out, putting a potential launch date on HBO around June 2020.

In the words of Benoit Blanc, however, there is a donut hole inside this donut hole.

Back in June 2019, Disney-controlled Hulu jointly acquired the rights to stream Lionsgate movies with the cable channel FX, but that only pertains to films released in 2020 and 2021. Lionsgate also owns Starz network, so it's entirely possible that the exclusive streaming rights will go to Starz, especially because Knives Out is one of the top-rated films of the year. Competing networks like HBO would have to pay a lot of money to secure the streaming rights.

Knives Out received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, which is Rian Johnson's first nomination. He's spoken in recent weeks about potentially developing a sequel. One of the film's stars, Daniel Craig, recently said he'd be "over the moon" to appear in the sequel. The unfortunate reality of a film this popular is that the streaming rights might become a surprising bidding war in the end. In the meantime, you only have to wait until February 7 to buy (or rent the movie if you can) from Amazon or iTunes.

The Oscars will air February 9, a mere two days after the film is out on digital release. So in the coming weeks, the overall value of Knives Out could increase dramatically.

Knives Out will be out on digital release February 7 and all other physical formats on February 25, 2020.

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