Don’t get your hopes up about streaming the new Spider-Man anytime soon — and especially not on Disney Plus or HBO Max.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first film in the pandemic to hit $1 billion in global box office receipts, and its streaming strategy surely helped pack fans into theaters — because the movie hasn’t been streaming at all.  

Last year saw an unprecedented number of new theatrical movies released on streaming services the same day they hit cinemas. HBO Max, in particular, has become synonymous with the practice. HBO Max just started streaming The Matrix Resurrections last month, but it isn’t streaming Spider-Man: No Way Home

And even though actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man appears routinely in Disney’s Marvel movies, that doesn’t mean the latest Spider-Man movie is coming anywhere near Disney Plus for a long time. 

Sony Pictures is the distributor releasing No Way Home, and it put the movie exclusively in theaters.

Is Spider-Man: No Way Home going to stream on Disney Plus? 

Not anytime in the near future, unless Disney and Sony strike a new bargain. 

Spider-Man, as a character, derives from Marvel, but Disney’s Marvel has a complicated license-sharing deal with Sony for the Spider-Man characters on film. Basically, Sony is in charge of making and distributing standalone Spider-Man universe movies, and then Disney’s Marvel can “borrow” the characters for films in its own Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s why Tom Holland’s Spider-Man shows up in the Avengers movies. 

That’s also why you can stream some movies on Disney Plus featuring Holland as Spider-Man — but you can’t stream any of the Spider-Man specific films there. 

The same arrangement extends to the Venom movies and the Morbius film coming next year. Those are Marvel characters, but the films are Sony-distributed flicks, so they aren’t destined for Disney Plus anytime soon. 

You may have read some articles about how Spider-Man movies will be coming to Disney Plus thanks to a new deal struck last year. That’s true but it’s tricky — the deal may not apply to No Way Home. 

Disney secured a deal with Sony in April to stream some catalog Spider-Man movies as well as Sony movies released in theaters between 2022 and 2026. First of all, those 2022-2026 theatrical releases won’t make it onto Disney Plus for many, many months; they’ll actually be exclusively on Netflix first. But since No Way Home’s theatrical release was in 2021, that part of the deal doesn’t apply to it anyway. Second, neither Sony nor Disney are confirming when — or even if — No Way Home would be considered a “catalog” movie that could stream on Disney Plus. 

Bottom line: If you’re holding your breath for No Way Home to stream on Disney Plus, it’ll be a long time before you can exhale — if ever. 

Will Spider-Man: No Way Home stream on HBO Max? 


HBO Max has been closely linked with the concept of same-day streaming, since it has released more movies this way than any other streaming service. HBO Max has been streaming every Warner Bros. movie on the 2021 release schedule the same day they hit the big screen, more than a dozen movies. That’s why Matrix 4, a Warner Bros. film, is streaming on HBO Max now. 

But this has created some misguided hope among moviegoers when any new movie hits theaters. Without knowing the studio distributing that new flick, lots of people get curious about whether it’s one of the movies available on HBO Max too. 

But Spider-Man is being distributed by Sony, not Warner Bros., so it isn’t en route to HBO Max. 

OK, where — and when — will Spider-Man: No Way Home be available to stream? 

Sony has an agreement in place for its 2021 movies to go to the premium cable network Starz first, where they’re available to watch on its traditional channels as well as on its streaming app. So Starz will be the first place you’ll be able to stream this latest Sony movie. 

Traditionally, the movie would make its way to Starz roughly six to nine months after its theatrical release. 

What about other movies in theaters now? Are Matrix Resurrections, Ghostbusters: Afterlife or other theatrical movies streaming now?

Matrix Resurrections, Halloween Kills and Clifford the Big Red Dog are a few of the rare theatrical films streaming as soon as they hit theaters in the last few months.

The Matrix Resurrections is available to stream now on HBO Max through Jan. 21. 

Clifford the Big Red Dog is streaming on Paramount Plus. The streaming service and the studio distributing the movie are both owned by ViacomCBS, which decided to release the film in theaters and on Paramount Plus simultaneously.

Halloween Kills is over on Peacock. Peacock is owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Universal Pictures is the distributor of Halloween Kills. But there’s a paywall around the movie. You’ll need to sign up for a $5-a-month or $10-a-month premium tier if you want to watch Halloween Kills or any of Peacock’s other paywalled programming. (HBO Max is the next place Universal movies like Halloween Kills are set to head the line. HBO has what’s known as a pay-one licensing deal with Universal, but those movies won’t reach HBO and HBO Max until about six to nine months after theatrical release.)

But pretty much any other movie in cinemas at the moment is unavailable on a streaming service. 

Encanto and Eternals — two of the latest Disney releases that have topped the US box office — aren’t available to stream yet. But they’ll be coming to Disney Plus soon: Encanto is set to start streaming there Friday and Eternals will join the service on Jan. 12.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, like the latest Spider-Man, is being distributed by Sony Pictures, which is exclusively in theaters for now. Starz will be the first place to stream it eventually. 

And most other theatrical movies don’t have subscription streaming options. No Time to DieVenomLet There Be CarnageAntlersSpencerLast Night in SohoThe French DispatchHouse of Gucci and West Side Story were all released in theaters exclusively over the last months. 

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By MD Abdullah

Abdullah is a former educator, lifelong money nerd, and a Plutus Award-winning freelance writer who specializes in the scientific research behind irrational money behaviors. Her background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson. She is the author of four books, including End Financial Stress Now and The Five Years Before You Retire.

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