Streaming has changed the movie-watching game, especially when it comes to home media releases. Studios like Warner Bros and Disney have now launched their own platforms, and understandably from a business perspective, they’re now starting to share their movies exclusively on said platforms. Sony Pictures is the lone holdout among the biggest studios not directly jumping into the streaming game, but if you’re a fan of its franchises, such as Jumanji and Bad Boys, you’ll want to double-check that your Netflix subscription is still active.
Sony and premium cable channel Starz’s exclusive arrangement has come to an end, as it was announced today that the film studio has signed a new licensing deal with Netflix. Starting in 2022, Netflix will have an 18-month exclusivity window for new Sony movies after they’ve played in theaters and come out on home media. According to Deadline, Netflix emerged victorious among other bidders with its offer of $1 billion over four years.
There will also be two subsequent windows for these Sony features on Netflix as they arrive on other TV and streaming platforms. As for some Sony’s older movies, Netflix will be able to gain the rights to past installments of franchises like Jumanji, Bad Boys, Spider-Man and Venom. So you’ll easily be able to run marathons centered on those sagas if the mood strikes.
In addition to sequels to the aforementioned franchises, among the future Sony releases that are confirmed to head to Netflix as part of this new deal include Uncharted, Morbius, Bullet Train, Where The Crawdads Sing and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. This new deal between the two companies also gives Netflix a first-look at any titles Sony is considering sending direct to streaming, so perhaps this is how certain projects that have languished in development hell, like the Masters of the Universe reboot, could finally see the light of day. Sony and Netflix already had an output deal for Sony Pictures Animation, but now these companies will be significantly more intertwined for the foreseeable future.
This is a major score for Netflix at a time when it’s losing the access to major offerings from other studios. Granted, Netflix has built an impressive library of exclusive movies and TV shows, but whether it’s series like Friends and The Office being moved to HBO Max and Peacock, respectively, or Disney+ holding onto all things Mouse House-related, the platform has been losing prime content lately. This sounds like a win-win on both sides, with Netflix gaining some high-profile titles and Sony scoring some extra revenue since its opted not to start its own streaming service.
Like other movie studios, the last year has seen Sony having to consistently shift around its theatrical schedule in response to the pandemic. As such, while there was a time when movies like Morbius and Uncharted were supposed to come out in 2020, they’re now primed for 2022, although there’s still a chance that they could be moved yet again. This year’s big releases include Hotel Transylvania 4, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, but presumably we’ll have to wait a little longer for them to hit Netflix since they just barely miss the current parameters for what constitutes a “new movie” as part of this deal.