Disney and Sony Pictures Entertainment have announced a new "unprecedented" deal that will see new theatrical releases for Spider-Man and other franchises streaming on Disney+ for the first time. The deal includes U.S. rights to new theatrical releases from 2022-2026 following their post-pay-1 release window. In other words, these movies will move to Disney+ after first streaming on Netflix, which recently announced a deal of their own with Sony earlier this month.
"This landmark multi-year, platform agnostic agreement guarantees the team at Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution a tremendous amount of flexibility and breadth of programming possibilities to leverage Sony's rich slate of award-winning action and family films across our direct-to-consumer services and linear channels," said Chuck Saftler, head of Business Operations for ABC, Freeform, FX Networks, and Acquisitions in DMED's Networks division, who played a key role in the negotiations.
"This is a win for fans, who will benefit from the ability to access the very best content from two of Hollywood's most prolific studios across a multitude of viewing platforms and experiences," Saftler added.
Keith Le Goy, president, Worldwide Distribution and Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, also said: "This groundbreaking agreement reconfirms the unique and enduring value of our movies to film lovers and the platforms and networks that serve them. We are thrilled to team up with Disney on delivering our titles to their viewers and subscribers. This agreement cements a key piece of our film distribution strategy, which is to maximize the value of each of our films, by making them available to consumers across all windows with a wide range of key partners."
The deal includes the rights to a significant number of titles in Sony Pictures Entertainment's iconic library, ranging from the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania franchises to Sony Pictures' Universe of Marvel Characters movies, including Spider-Man. Per the press release, this gives Disney "enormous programming potential across its platforms and makes them key destinations for a robust collection of Spider-Man films. Notably, the agreement provides Hulu access to a significant number of library titles beginning as early as this June."
Set to release this winter, Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Netflix will also be able to have the exclusive window for other installments of popular franchises like Bad Boys, Venom, and Jumanji. It was a boost that Netflix needed after losing some of its most popular material thanks to the rise of competing streamers. The Office and Friends have since departed Netflix, and because those were among the streaming service's most-watched programs, the streamer needed something huge as a way to stay competitive.
Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed, though it's safe to assume a rather substantial amount of money was involved. Deadline reported that a source familiar with the pact estimated the total to be more than $3 billion. In any case, this is fantastic news for Disney+ subscribers who will be happy to see Tom Holland's Spider-Man join his Marvel buddies on the streamer. This news comes to us from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.