Customer calls out Prime Video for charging customers $25 to rent ‘Barbie’

@curlyandyue/TikTok sdx15/ShutterStock JOCA_PH/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I saw it in theaters for $18’: Customer calls out Prime Video for charging customers $25 to rent ‘Barbie’

'$25 to rent it the SAME day as it releases in theaters is maybe something I'd consider.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Sep 14, 2023

C’mon, Barbie. Let’s go… rent a movie for $25? Not if one TikTok creator has anything to say about it.

Creator @curlyandyue recently posted a viral video about the cost to rent Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster hit film Barbie through Amazon Prime Video. The TikTok video has almost 38,000 views.

“Amazon Prime has got to be out of their damn minds right now,” the creator says in the video. “What is this?” The camera shows the platform’s landing screen for Barbie, which became available to video-on-demand customers this week. The price to rent the film in ultra-high-definition is listed as $24.99. 

“Are you kidding me?” the creator says, adding, “Get over yourself.” In the caption, @curlyandyue wrote, “I saw it in theaters for $18.”

@curlyandyue @Prime Video I saw it is theaters for $18 #primevideo #greedycompanies #amazonprimevideo #thebarbiemovie ♬ original sound – curlyandyue

One commenter wrote, “$25 to rent it the SAME day as it releases in theaters is maybe something I’d consider, but not months later.”

“They did the same thing for the new Mario movie. It’s crazy how much it is. You might as well buy it,” a viewer wrote.

But several commenters pointed out that the price point likely relates to the fact that Barbie is a new release that’s still playing in theaters.

“That’s not new. Anytime a new movie comes out on streaming for first few weeks it’s over $20 to rent or buy. Till it’s out in stores,” another person chimed in.

“It’s cause it’s still in theaters. When it’s no longer in theaters the price will most likely drop,” someone else commented.

According to the Amazon Prime Video app, it does indeed cost $24.99 to rent Barbie at any definition. Users have 48 hours to finish the film once they start watching. The film also can be purchased on the platform for $29.99. The film will stream on Max later in the year, according to Parade.

The movie is listed as a “home premiere,” and other movies still playing in theaters—Teenage Mutant Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Strays, and The Last Voyage of the Demeter, to name a few—are priced similarly on Amazon Prime Video. Recent movies that have largely left theaters, like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret or Renfield, are priced much more affordably, renting at $5.99.

The journey from the cinema to the home screen got a lot quicker during the pandemic, as housebound audiences (or, after the reopening of theaters, cautious audiences) looked for streaming entertainment on the couch—and studios looked for ways to reach those audiences’ wallets, and so the window for home release shortened

In 2021, CNN reported, “Although some studios have tried releasing films simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platforms, that model can undercut the millions, or even billions, of dollars a movie might earn at the box office. But it’s unlikely studios will revert back to the pre-pandemic model of waiting multiple months between a movie’s theatrical release and its availability on-demand.”

While you can find movies like Barbie available to rent from home much sooner than you would have just four years ago, they come at a premium while there’s still money to be made in the theater.

The Daily Dot reached out to @curlyandyue via TikTok and Amazon via email.

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*First Published: Sep 14, 2023, 11:59 am CDT