Based on the stage musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name, The Color Purple has been met with glowing reviews since its theatrical release on December 25, 2023. Directed by Blitz Bazawule, the film was received well, with Collider’s Ross Bonaimewriting in his review: “If The Color Purple was going to get a film adaptation of this musical version, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job than what Bazawule does here.” The Color Purple was produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, and Quincy Jones. Spielberg and Jones also produced the original 1985 version as well.
Starring Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Ciara, and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, The Color Purple tells the tale of perseverance through grief and obstacles overcome by Celie and Nettie, two sisters growing up in Georgia in the early 1900s. Raised under the roof of an abusive father after the death of their mother, the sisters are eventually split up after Celie is sold off to marry a cruel man who views women as property. Throughout the years, the sisters attempt to keep in touch with each other despite the many obstacles thrown in their paths. Along the way, Celie meets and learns from other women who teach her how to stand up for herself and push back against the rampant oppression they face daily as African American women in the Old South.
Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on February 11, 2024.
A decades-spanning tale of love and resilience and of one woman’s journey to independence. Celie faces many hardships in her life, but ultimately finds extraordinary strength and hope in the unbreakable bonds of sisterhood.
- Release Date
- December 25, 2023
- Blitz Bazawule
- 140 minutes
- Marcus Gardley , Alice Walker , Marsha Norman
Is ‘The Color Purple’ Available on VOD?
Yes! The Color Purple was just recently released to rent and purchase on various VOD platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, and Apple TV, starting at $19.99. Depending on the platform, you can also purchase a digital download of the movie for $25 on 4K Ultra HD. You can click on the links below to find the movie on the platform of your choice.
What Streaming Service Will ‘The Color Purple’ Be On?
Once the exclusive PVOD window ends, The Color Purple will be available to watch on Max. Most Warner Bros. films have been available to stream on the platform, so it makes sense that the musical will be available to stream on the service.
Max has announced that The Color Purple will be available to stream on the service starting on Friday, February 16.
If you don’t have a Max subscription, you can purchase a basic subscription (which includes ads) for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year if you want to save 16% and pay for the year in one sitting. There is also an “Ad-Free” option for $15.99/month or $149.99/year (20% savings), and recently, Max has offered an “Ultimate Ad-Free” plan for $19.99/month or $199.99/year with up to 20% savings.
Is ‘The Color Purple’ Available on DVD and Blu-ray?
Not yet, but The Color Purple will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 12, 2024, and is currently available to pre-order a DVD or Blu-ray copy right now! Check the links below to pre-order your copy of the record-breaking musical.
Is the Soundtrack for ‘The Color Purple’ Available Now?
Yes! The single “Keep It Movin’” was released on November 11, 2023, and the original motion picture soundtrack was released on December 15, 2023, just ten days before the theatrical debut. Additionally, the original motion picture score and an album consisting of “music inspired by” The Color Purple by artists like Usher, H.E.R., Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, and many others have also been available to listen to on the music streaming platform of your choice.
When Did ‘The Color Purple’ Come Out?
The Color Purple came out on December 25, 2023, which is one of the most popular moviegoing days of the year for families to head to the theaters together after opening gifts. It was released at the same time as Wonka, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Michael Mann’s Ferrari, and George Clooney’s The Boys in the Boat and was projected to gross $8-10 million on its first day. Instead, the film grossed $18.2 million on that day, beating out the competition and claiming the top spot at the box office. Its opening-day earnings were the second-highest for a Christmas Day release, after Sherlock Holmes in 2009. The Color Purple also holds the record for the highest-grossing domestic opening day for a musical since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the Trailer for ‘The Color Purple’
The trailer gives you a taste of the beautiful cinematography, the star-studded cast, and what you can expect from the powerful soundtrack and score. Filled with both dramatic and touching moments as well as impressive costumes and choreography, the trailer shows you just enough to grab your interest while still giving tasteful homage to the original novel, the stage musical adaptation, and Stephen Spielberg’s 1985 (non-musical) adaptation of The Color Purple.
Other Dramas Like ‘The Color Purple’ You Can Watch Right Now
Dreamgirls (2006): Also adapted from a stage musical of the same name, Dreamgirls follows a trio of black female soul singers in the 1960s. Based on The Supremes, Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, and Anika Noni Rose battle their way through successes, losses, and shady management deals as they climb their way to fame. Although she is not in The Color Purple, Jennifer Hudson contributed to the “Inspired by The Color Purple” album and won an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in Dreamgirls. Additionally, Danny Glover, who played Albert “Mister” Johnson in the original 1985 version of The Color Purple, plays Marty Madison in Dreamgirls, a former mentor to Eddie Murphy’s character and serves as both counsel and confidant to Murphy and Hudson’s characters.
Mudbound (2017): Although it’s not a musical drama, Mudbound shares many similar themes with The Color Purple as it follows two WWII veterans, one white, one black, as they return to rural Mississippi to work on a farm. On top of having PTSD from the war, both men have to navigate extreme racism and prejudice based on the color of their skin while trying to move on with their lives and provide for their families. Starring Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan, and Mary J. Blige. The film received 4 nominations at the 90th Academy Awards, two of which were for Mary J. Blige, for “Best Supporting Actress,” and “Best Original Song.” Blige became the first person to be nominated for acting and songwriting in the same year for her performance in this film.
The Color Purple (1985): The original film, directed by Stephen Spielberg, stars Whoopi Goldberg as Celie, Oprah Winfrey as Sofia, Danny Glover as “Mister,” Margaret Avery as Shug Avery, and Akosua Busia as Nettie. Although this version of the story doesn’t include much singing or dancing, the film remains true to the source material.
Whoopi Goldberg even makes a surprise cameo in the new film, appearing briefly as the midwife who helps young Celie (Phylicia Pearl-Mpasi) give birth to her second child, Adam.