‘Barbie’ to Stream on Max Starting Dec. 15, Also With Sign Language Version

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie — the top box office movie of the year — will make its streaming debut on Max on Dec. 15 at midnight PT/3 a.m. ET.

The film, which has earned more than $1.44 billion at the global box office, is the highest-grossing global release in the studio’s 100-year history.
Warner Bros. and Max have announced Barbie with ASL, the blockbuster film interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL), will be also available to stream on Max on Dec. 15. Grounded in research and feedback from the Deaf community, as well as counsel from community leaders, Barbie with ASL was produced for Max featuring ASL performer Leila Hanaumi (Deaf Austin Theatre’s “The Laramie Project,” ASL cover for Tove Lo in “True Romance” music video). Barbie with ASL will be displayed as a unique title in-app and can be identified by its key art with the sign language symbol.
To celebrate Barbie with ASL coming to the platform, Max will host a special community screening on Dec. 14 in Los Angeles, where Barbie star and Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie (Bombshell, I, Tonya) will join Leila Hanaumi on stage for a post-screening conversation for hundreds of community members and Barbie fans. The event will be in collaboration with the Tony Award-winning Los Angeles nonprofit Deaf West Theatre and RespectAbility, whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
“Max is the premiere destination for storytelling, so being able to share the biggest movie of the year in ASL, the first language for many, will make this story resonate in a more meaningful way,” Casey Bloys chairman and CEO, HBO and Max Content, said in a statement. “By offering sign language interpretation, we will build upon the film’s empowering message of inclusiveness and offer a unique viewing experience for the Deaf community to enjoy with family and friends.”

From Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig (Little WomenLady Bird), Barbie stars Oscar-nominees Robbie (Bombshell, I, Tonya) and Ryan Gosling (La La Land, Half Nelson) as Barbie and Ken. The film follows the iconic Mattel doll as she experiences an existential crisis.

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The film also stars America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell.

Barbie with ASL

‘Wonder,’ ‘Hunger Games’ Films Accessible to Deaf Via Actiview Deal With Lionsgate

Liongate’s Wonder is becoming more accessible to the deaf.

Lionsgate has teamed up with Actiview, a mobile application company that provides film accessibility solutions for blind, deaf, and foreign language-speaking audiences, as well as celebrity deaf advocate Nyle DiMarco to make Wonder the first live-action U.S. film to have an American Sign Language interpretation available for viewing along with the film.

The Actiview app is designed as a “second-screen” experience, either through headphones or on the user’s phone screen, that allows users to playback audio descriptions, captions, multi-language dubs, and sign-language interpretations of films and shows while they watch on a TV, laptop or in a theater.

“Lionsgate is committed to making our movies increasingly available and accessible,” said Brian Day, Lionsgate SVP of strategic partnerships, in a statement. “We’re delighted to be working with Nyle and Actiview to make our incredibly moving and heartfelt movie Wonder the first live action film to ever have American Sign Language available alongside it.”

After winning “America’s Next Top Model” in 2015 and then becoming a champion on “Dancing with the Stars,” actor and model DiMarco has become an advocate for the deaf community. His goal in teaming up with Actiview and Lionsgate is to ensure that everyone has equal access to entertainment, according to a Lionsgate press release.

“I am so excited about working with Lionsgate and Actiview to make the inspiring film Wonder accessible to everyone and offer them an ASL viewing option,” said DiMarco in a statement. “It allows me to take a huge step forward in my campaign to make increasing accessibility a priority in the TV and film industry.”

Lionsgate is also making the entire “Hunger Games” series accessible via the Actiview app, providing audio description, multi-language dubs, subtitles, captions and amplified audio to all audiences who use the Actiview app. Users can watch these films on any available platform and the app will automatically synchronize with their TV. The app “listens” to the movie (similarly to Shazam listening to songs) and figures out where in the movie the viewer is, matching the playback from their device.

Any user will be able to download the app (iOS only) at http://activiewapp.com/download or by searching “Actiview” in the App store. They then select the movie they’re watching and the accessibility service they need (sign language, audio description, etc.).

Wonder follows the story of the Pullman family, whose youngest child, Auggie, is a boy born with facial differences. It is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital.