Sony Pictures Signs Deal With Netflix to Get Films There First

By Bill Toulas / April 9, 2021

Starting in 2022, Netflix will be the first streaming platform to get Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) films right after their theatrical releases, as the two entities have announced an exclusive deal that builds upon their existing contract. Examples given in the announcement include Morbius, Uncharted, Where the Crawdads Sing, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Jumanji, Bad Boys, and Bullet Train.

As SPE explains, they will offer Netflix a first look at any films intended to be directly available to streaming services or licensed for streaming right after the theatrical window is over. From its side, Netflix commits to accept a number of these films and add them to its catalog.

No matter how many SPE projects will go directly to Netflix, the theatrical film slate volume will remain unchanged. Sony will also license older movies from its library to Netflix, so we may see an influx of interesting titles on the platform by next year.

Scott Stuber, Head of Global Films at Netflix, comments:

Sony Pictures is a great partner, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement. This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new IP to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first-run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide.

Keith Le Goy (President, Worldwide Distribution and Networks at Sony Pictures Entertainment) states:

Netflix has been a terrific partner as we continue to expand our relationship. At Sony Pictures, we produce some of the biggest blockbusters and the most creative, original films in the industry. This exciting agreement further demonstrates the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment.

Sony's move is in line with its plans to embrace streaming services more sincerely, accept a new post-COVID reality, and experiment more freely with new content distribution approaches. This was expressed through the lips of the Chairman and CEO of SPE, Tony Vinciquerra, back in December 2020, so these latest announcements aren’t exactly surprising.

Also, it’s now widely accepted that making deals with streaming services is preferable to funding a labyrinthine network of anti-piracy solutions, which are intrinsically limited to moderate success anyway. Thus, we hope that Sony’s latest move will find imitators in the field and that we’ll finally see the dawn of a new era in film entertainment. No doubt, Netflix’s competitors will be seeking similar deals aggressively now.

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