Disney has signed a massive pact with Sony to bring the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise and older movies like “Jumanji” to Disney’s streaming service and TV networks.
The deal covers new Sony films that will hit theaters between 2022 and 2026, such as Marvel’s “Morbius,” an adaptation of best-selling book “Where the Crawdads Sing,” thriller “Bullet Train” starring Brad Pitt, and another installment in the “Bad Boys” comedy series with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. It also includes older Sony films like kids flick “Hotel Transylvania.”
But there’s a catch: New Sony movies won’t hit Disney right after they debut in theaters. First they will be offered on DVD and video-on-demand and then head to Netflix, which inked a deal with Sony earlier this month, for a period of 18 months.
After the timeframe is over, the movies then will head to streaming service Disney+ or other Disney platforms, such as Hulu and ABC. Older Sony movies, however, will make their Disney debut much sooner.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Disney said late Wednesday that it will add a significant number of Sony titles to Disney-owned Hulu starting in June.
“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,” said Disney executive Chuck Safler.
Sony Pictures Entertainment president of worldwide distribution and networks Keith LeGoy said: “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 comes as Hollywood is rethinking how it releases movies. Under the crush of the pandemic, which has slowed down the production of movies and caused cinemas to operate at limited capacity, studios have relied more on streaming.
Warner Bros. shocked the industry when it announced it would put its entire 2021 movie slate on sister streaming service HBO Max the same day it premiered in movie theaters. Universal Pictures, meanwhile, struck a deal to have its films debut on premium video-on-demand streaming services 17 days after its theatrical release.
Paramount said it would put some of its blockbusters, such as “Mission: Impossible 7″ and “A Quiet Place Part II” on its streaming service, Paramount+ just 45 days after hitting the big screen.