The year of Oppenheimer continues with Deadline reporting that Universal, caught by surprise at the demand for a physical copy of the film, is working hard to replenish the stock of 4K Blu-rays before the holidays. Hopefully, this continues the resurgence of physical media, with many opting to return to buying Blu-rays thanks to the regular content purges that have become routine on digital services.
Director Christopher Nolan himself warned fans that they should buy a Blu-ray version of the movie so that “no evil streaming service can come steal it from you.” Indeed, the film has been selling out at most retailers, with Best Buy and Amazon out of stock. On some online marketplaces, Deadline is reporting that steelbook editions of the film are selling at about $200 bucks a pop.
This is a suitable fate for the $900 million grossing film, which has beaten the odds every step of the way. Before Oppenheimer came out this summer, many predicted the film would flop and be overwhelmed at the box office by competition. While Barbie outgrossed it, the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon boosted both films (probably because both were actually good). The three-hour biopic is now Christopher Nolan’s top-grossing movie behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Nolan has been famously pro-physical media, with him one of the directors still loading his films with special features and offering unique transfers you can’t find anywhere else. On Oppenheimer, if you want to see the IMAX footage at an expanded ratio, you have to buy it on disc, as the streaming version is the conventional 2:35:1 scope version of the film.
This comes at a time when consumers, faced with a newfound lack of retailers dealing in physical media, have begun to rally. Recently, we posted an article about how many films, including Ron Howard’s 1985 classic Cocoon, are out of print and unavailable digitally. As Nolan says, buying physical copies is the only way to ensure these movies remain available. Hopefully, Oppenheimer will begin a trend towards more fans buying movies on disc. For the moment, I’m keeping my 4K version of the film locked up tight!