Netflix and Sony have reached a deal that gives the streaming service exclusive rights to the studio's theatrical releases, including Uncharted and Venom 2, within an 18-month window.
Deadline reports that the licensing deal replaces an agreement Starz and Sony had that dates back to 2005, and gives Netflix exclusive rights to stream Sony movies within a year-and-a-half after their theatrical release. The deal officially starts in 2022 and with the state of movie theaters still in flux due to COVID-19, it makes sense that Netflix will also "have a first-look deal for any direct-to-streaming titles Sony is contemplating." However, the likes of Morbius, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and other Sony movies will not be released on Netflix at the same time as a theatrical release, and these movies would seemingly end up on VOD services before heading to Netflix.
Other major streamers have recently been making movies available simultaneously in theaters and online. Godzilla vs. Kong was released in both US cinemas and on HBO Max at the same time. However, Warner Bros. – which owns HBO – has already said that simultaneous releases will not continue into 2022. Instead, the studio has made an agreement with Cineworld that movies will run for at least 45 days in theaters before heading online. Disney has likewise agreed to simultaneous Disney Plus and theatrical releases for Cruella and Black Widow, though those movies are only available through the $30/£20 Premiere Access.
Whether the Sony deal will fall into a similar 45-day timeframe in 2022 remains to be seen – that 18-month window opens things up and Sony will no doubt want to make as much money as possible when cinemas are running at full capacity again. This does, though, give Netflix access to a wealth of blockbusters.
Netflix revealed other Sony Pictures movies that will get the exclusive streaming window treatment, including Bullet Train, Where the Crawdads Sing, Morbius, Venom 2, the Jumanji sequel, and the Bad Boys sequel.
While we wait for those Sony movies, be sure to check out the best Netflix movies streaming right now.