Looking for the "How I Met Your Mother" sequel series with Hilary Duff? Here's where it'll be available in Canada.
Spider-Man: No Way Home, the third in the "Home" series of Spider-Man films co-produced by Marvel Studios and Columbia Pictures, starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Benedict Cumberbatch among others, was released only in theatres (for the time being) on Friday, December 17, 2021, with preview screenings starting on the evening of Thursday the 16th.
Sony Pictures Canada's promotional website for the movie makes clear that the new Spider-Man movie will be initally available "exclusively in movie theaters", including – in Canada – those belonging to the Cineplex, Landmark, Imagine, and Guzzo circuits.
This means that there will be no day-and-date streaming or on-demand release as there have been for some other Marvel Cinematic Universe films this year.
And while there's a possibility that premium digital rentals will be available in early 2022, unlike other MCU films it will not be available on Disney+ for the foreseeable future because of the complications surrounding the film rights to the Spider-Man character. Read on for further explanation.
By the way, if you're looking for a movie you believe is titled "Spiderman No Way Home" or "Spider Man Homecoming 3" or "the Spider-Man / Doctor Strange movie" or something else along those lines, this is very likely what you're looking for. And yes, as common as the single-word version is, the official spelling of the name of Peter Parker's alter ego is the hyphenated "Spider-Man".
When will "Spider-Man: No Way Home" be available for on demand purchase or rental in Canada?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently available for digital purchase pre-order on the Apple TV / iTunes Store, Cineplex Store, Microsoft Movies & TV, starting at around $24.99 (but varying by retailer), and can be "added to wishlist" on the Google Play Movies & TV store. (All prices in this article are in Canadian dollars before applicable sales taxes.)
But as for when the film will be available, we're not sure yet, as it's up to Sony, because they're calling the shots on how this movie will be distributed.
Even though Spider-Man is a Marvel Comics character, and even though Marvel Studios has been heavily involved in producing the live-action Spider-Man films since Homecoming, the underlying movie rights to Spider-Man and related characters have been held by Sony Pictures Entertainment (parent of Columbia Pictures) since 1998.
Sony is reported to hold those rights in perpetuity provided the studio releases a new movie featuring the Spider-Man characters at least once every five years and nine months, regardless of any other transactions like The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Marvel in 2009.
Although Sony later reached an agreement to co-produce this particular set of films with Marvel Studios, Sony (through Columbia) retains the distribution rights, so it has the final say on when, and how, No Way Home will be distributed.
So what's our best guess on when the new Spider-Man movie will be available to rent at home?
The closest recent comparison we can point to is Venom: Let There Be Carnage, another film distributed by Sony about a Marvel character (though in that case only "in association with" Marvel, and only tangentially related to the MCU). That movie arrived in North American cinemas on October 1, and didn't become available as a premium video-on-demand (PVOD) rental until late November, after eight weekends of box office exclusivity.
So Sony will very likely wait at least that same length of time – after eight weekends, or a little less than two months – to make that film available to rent. In other words, Spider-Man: No Way Home might become available for PVOD rental and/or purchase in North America on or around Friday, February 11.
Of course, the studio might wait even longer, if it thinks doing so will allow it to maximize ticket sales. Or if there's a significant uptick in coronavirus cases and theatres close again, the studio could decide to move PVOD availability up. For now, February 11 is simply the best estimate we can make based on the available information.
In Canada, PVOD rentals typically retail for about $24.99 initially, but the price usually comes down over time, if you're willing to wait a few extra weeks.
Again, the only information we can confirm at this point is that No Way Home is available for purchase pre-order on the Apple TV / iTunes Store, Cineplex Store, and Microsoft Movies & TV, with pre-order pricing starting at $24.99, but we don't yet know when the movie will be actually available to either rent or purchase.
We will strive to update this section as further details are confirmed.
When will "Spider-Man: No Way Home" be available for subscription streaming in Canada?
Note: In this section, we're referring to the ability to stream or otherwise watch a piece of content through a monthly subscription service like Netflix, not via a one-time purchase as discussed in the section above.
First, some background information: the major movie studios generally have consistent arrangements in Canada for the streaming and/or TV rights to their new movies. For example, most Warner Bros. and Universal films stream first on Bell Media's Crave service a few months after theatrical release, while most films from Disney and its subsidiaries like Marvel now go directly to Disney+ on a similar timeline.
However, in the case of No Way Home, because of the film's distribution rights being held by Sony as discussed above, the streaming rights will fall under Sony's streaming output arrangements, not Disney's.
This means that, unlike the vast majority of other Marvel Studios films (but like all other live-action Spider-Man films, at least at this point) Spider-Man: No Way Home will not be available on Disney+ for the foreseeable future.
Instead, in Canada, No Way Home will most likely be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in several months – perhaps, but not necessarily, in June 2022.
This estimate is based on other recent Sony films that have arrived on Prime Video for "free with Prime" streaming about six months after their theatrical releases, under a multi-year pay-1 contract that has been in effect since mid-2020 (prior to this, Crave had similar rights, which were in effect for the last few Spider-Man movies like Far From Home).
For example, the Sony movie Peter Rabbit 2 was released in North American theatres on June 11, 2021, but then became available to stream on Prime Video in Canada on December 9, almost exactly six months later.
Once these films become available for subscriber streaming on Prime Video, they films typically remain available there for a bit less than two years, before moving on to other streaming and broadcast homes, like Netflix, for shorter periods.
Didn't I hear new "Spider-Man" movies were going to stream first on Netflix or Starz or something like that?
You may have come across an article about Sony Pictures' streaming rights in the United States – perhaps something like this, referring to how Starz currently holds first-window streaming rights to Sony films in the U.S. (including for films released in late 2021 like No Way Home), but noting that Netflix will be taking over these rights starting with 2022 releases, with second window rights going to Disney services like Disney+ or Hulu.
As far as we're aware from what Sony has announced, these deals only apply in the United States.
Unfortunately, many of these articles don't bother to look into the international picture, and assume what's happening in America will extend automatically to the rest of the world. In fact, these sorts of rights are typically sold separately by country or region.
And as discussed above, Amazon Prime Video currently holds the corresponding rights to new Sony movies in Canada under a multi-year agreement, although Netflix holds – and will likely continue to hold – second window Canadian rights to these films.
- December 25, 2021 – minor updates to reflect theatrical release status
- December 23, 2021 – added links to available digital purchase pre-order options