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April 8, 2021, 5:57 p.m. EDT

Netflix buys rights to stream new Sony movies beginning in 2022

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK — Netflix further beefed up its film catalog on Thursday in a multiyear deal that will make it the new streaming home to Sony Pictures’ top releases in the U.S.

Beginning next year, Sony’s new films will exclusively stream domestically on Netflix after their theatrical runs. That includes movies in popular franchises like “Spider-Man,” “Venom” and “Jumanji,” and 2022 releases including “Morbius,” “Where the Crawdads Sing,” “Uncharted” and “Bullet Train.”

The agreement also gives Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -0.84% a first-look option on any films the Culver City, Calif.–based studio elects to send directly to streaming.

In a world of quickly proliferating streaming services, the deal — of a type that in the past would have typically gone to premium cable networks — is an anomaly. Sony /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SONY -0.47% is the only traditional Hollywood studio without a streaming service of its own. Walt Disney Co. /zigman2/quotes/203410047/composite DIS +1.46% has Disney+, AT&T’s /zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite T -2.06% Warner Bros. has HBO Max, Comcast’s /zigman2/quotes/209472081/composite CMCSA +0.77% Universal Pictures has Peacock and ViacomCBS’s Paramount Pictures has Paramount+.

Wednesday’s deal replaces a long-running agreement between Sony and Starz. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Earlier in the pandemic, Sony sold to Netflix Kevin Hart’s “Fatherhood,” “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” and “Wish Dragon.” It sent “Greyhound” to Apple TV+ and “American Pickle” to HBO Max.

“Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” said Netflix global film head Scott Stuber. “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.”

In the increasingly competitive streaming landscape, the deep-pocketed Netflix has been aggressively expanding its film library. The streaming service plans to release more than one film a week this year. It also recently acquired the rights to multiple “Knives Out” sequels in a deal that reportedly exceeds $450 million.

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