As a further sign of Netflix’s growing dominance, Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed a five-year deal that grants the streaming giant exclusive US rights to Sony’s films as soon as it leaves theaters and premium video-on-demand services.
The deal, which begins with the studio’s releases in 2022, builds on Netflix’s existing partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and replaces the agreement that Sony, one of the few major studios without its own streaming service, has had with Starz Entertainment since 2005 has closed.
That means upcoming films like “Morbius”, in which Jared Leto plays the Marvel vampire, and “Uncharted” with Tom Holland in an adaptation of a Playstation game, will be available on Netflix after their theatrical and on-demand films -Complete runs. Under the deal, Sony will produce two to three direct-to-streaming films per year for Netflix, expand Sony’s plan and offer Netflix exclusive films for its service.
“In this way, we can not only bring Sony’s impressive list of popular film franchises and new intellectual property to Netflix in the US, but also create a new source of first-time films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide,” said Scott, director of global films at Netflix Stuber said in a statement Thursday.
Sony emphasized that the arrangement would not change its theater strategy. Before the pandemic, the studio released 15 to 20 films a year in theaters, a plan it plans to resume after theaters reopen. Films made for Netflix will appear in addition to theatrical releases, it said.
With the pandemic closed theaters for much of last year, Sony Pictures, like most studios, pushed many of its films into 2021. It also sold a handful of streaming services, including Greyhound starring Tom Hanks to Apple and the upcoming animation comedy “The Mitchells vs The Machines” from the makers of Sony’s Oscar-winning film “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse” to Netflix.
(An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Sony had signed a four-year contract.)