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Netflix Snags Landmark Film Deal With Sony Pictures

Agreement Includes A First-Look At Films Sony Pictures Intends For Direct-To-Streaming

Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) have announced a multiyear, exclusive first pay window licensing deal in the U.S. for theatrically released SPE feature films, beginning with their 2022 film slate. This new agreement builds upon Netflix’s pre-existing output deal with Sony Pictures Animation films to now include all SPE film labels and genres.

The agreement is particularly notable as many studios, like Warner Bros. and Disney, are focusing on creating their own successful streaming platforms. Sony appears to be traveling in the opposite direction, choosing to work instead with the already well established Netflix service, which currently has 204 million paid members.

“Netflix has been a terrific partner as we continue to expand our relationship,” said Keith Le Goy, President, Worldwide Distribution and Networks, at Sony Pictures Entertainment. “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.”

Under the deal, Netflix will obtain first pay window rights to SPE titles following their theatrical and home entertainment windows. Tentpole flicks like Morbius, Uncharted, Where the Crawdads Sing, and Bullet Train will be among the initial 2022 offerings. They will be followed by continued entries in Sony Pictures’ rejuvenated slate of IP, including the sequel to the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and several more SPE films featuring Marvel characters, including future installments of Venom and Spider-Man; and expected follow-ups for the Jumanji and Bad Boys franchises. Netflix will also license rights to select titles from SPE’s vast movie library.

As part of the partnership, Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group will offer Netflix a first look at any films it intends to make directly for streaming or decides later to license for streaming, and Netflix has committed to make a number of those films available on its platform over the course of the deal. Any direct-to-streaming projects will be in addition to Sony’s full theatrical film slate, which will continue at its current volume.

Just as Netflix’s massive audience is a big draw for Sony, the film company’s position as a global leader is equally attractive to Netflix, which has lost some access to content when Warner, Disney and others decided to pull their content and redirect it toward their own services, like Disney+ and HBO Max. Sony’s Motion Picture Group includes studios that in themselves are industry giants, such as Columbia Pictures, Screen Gems, TriStar Pictures, 3000 Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Stage 6 Films, AFFIRM Films, Sony Pictures International Productions, and Sony Pictures Classics.

“Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” said Scott Stuber, Head of Global Films at Netflix. “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.”

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