Oppenheimer gets a February streaming release date – and it's a huge win for Peacock users

Cillian Murphy's Robert J Oppenheimer holds his hat and smiles at an assembled crowd in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer movie
Oppenheimer's release on Peacock is a huge coup for the streaming minnow. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

In the midst of its 2024 awards season dominance, Oppenheimer has landed an official streaming release date – and, in a coup for Peacock, it'll be a movie exclusive on the streaming minnow.

Christopher Nolan's three-hour biopic, which tells the tale of theoretical physicist Robert J. Oppenheimer, the so-called Father of the Atomic Bomb, will make its formal streaming bow on Friday, February 16. The Universal-distributed movie has been available to rent or buy since November 2023, but this is the first time it'll be part of a streaming service's film back catalog.

Oppenheimer, which made $954 million globally during its theatrical run, hasn't found a home on one of the world's best streaming services, such as Netflix or Max, though. Instead, the Cillian Murphy-starring flick will debut on Peacock, arguably the least-popular streaming platform in the US.

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Unfortunately for UK and Australian viewers, they'll have to make do with either renting or buying Oppenheimer for a while longer. According to Digital Spy, British audiences will have to wait until April 12 to stream it via Sky/NOW TV, while an Australian launch date is yet to be confirmed.

Oppenheimer won't be the only Nolan-directed movie to arrive on Peacock in February. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the British filmmaker's latest cinematic endeavor will be joined by six of his other films in Memento, Dunkirk, Inception, and Nolan's three Batman movies, aka The Dark Knight trilogy, which all arrive on Peacock on Thursday, February 1. Find out what we think of every Nolan flick to date in our best Christopher Nolan movies ranked piece.

A bombshell streaming victory

Robert J Oppenheimer looks up at something in the sky in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer film

Netflix and Max fans looking to the sky for news of Oppenheimer's release like... (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Oppenheimer's exclusive streaming launch on Peacock shouldn't come as a major shock. The streamer is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of Universal Pictures, so it makes sense that the former would want one of the best movies of 2023 to only debut on its service.

Still, Oppenheimer's impending release on the platform is a huge coup for Peacock. For starters, Nolan's critically-acclaimed movie is – at the time of writing – sweeping up awards left, right, and center. At the 2024 Golden Globes on January 7, Oppenheimer bagged five prizes, before adding eight more to its haul at the 2024 Critics' Choice Awards last night (January 14). It's also expected to receive numerous nominations for the 2024 BAFTAs and Oscars, too, and looks likely to triumph in multiple categories in bo.

Even without its current and potentially future award victories, though, Oppenheimer is the kind of prestige film Peacock has been crying out for. It's no secret that NBCUniversal's streaming service is lagging way behind its competitors, with Netflix, Max, Disney Plus, and Prime Video the most popular platforms worldwide.

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Other streamers, including Hulu, Apple TV Plus, and Paramount Plus, don't have the sizeable userbases that the aforementioned quartet have. However, they're still blessed with top-tier TV shows and award-winning movies that might coax curious viewers in, even if it's on a one-month trial basis to see what all the fuss is about.

Peacock can't claim to be in the same boat. Sure, the streamer has some big hitters in its library, such as The Super Mario. Bros Movie, M3GAN, Five Nights at Freddy's, and even Twisted Metal. Mario's latest big-screen adventure aside, which made over $1 billion at the box office in 2023, though, none of them can contend with the star power, nor the critical and commercial success, that Oppenheimer possesses. 

Nolan's newest movie, then, will be in a league of its own when it arrives on Peacock. It'll land on the streamer over a month before the 2024 Oscars, too, meaning US audiences can watch it and likely add to the increasing buzz (not that Oppenheimer needs it) ahead of the year's most glitzy entertainment awards ceremony. All told, Oppenheimer is a huge coup for Peacock – and it's the wildly successful film that might finally put the small-fry service on the streaming map.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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