January 14, 2022
Netflix is eyeing a streaming heyday this year when it assumes exclusive distribution rights to a trio of Sony Pictures’ box office hits: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
With no proprietary streaming distribution, Sony last year inked exclusive pacts with Netflix, and separately Disney+, for distribution of its theatrical titles, beginning in 2022. It was a shrewd move by Netflix considering Sony, at the time, had shelved all major theatrical releases due to the pandemic.
The agreement, which replaced an output arrangement with Lionsgate-owned Starz dating back to 2005, provides Netflix with an 18-month exclusive window for all Sony movies. Thereafter, Disney+ will have access to the movies.
“Sony Pictures is a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship through this forward-thinking agreement,” Scott Stuber, head of global films at Netflix, said in a statement at the time. “This not only allows us to bring their impressive slate of beloved film franchises and new I.P. to Netflix in the U.S., but it also establishes a new source of first-run films for Netflix movie lovers worldwide.”
Stuber had no idea how rich that source of first-run films could be. No Way Home ended 2021 as the top-grossing theatrical release, a distinction the movie has carried into 2022 against 39 competing releases thus far. Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Ghostbusters: Afterlife finished in the Top 10 last year with $212.6 million and $125.2 million in North American box office, respectively.
The streaming pact includes expected theatrical follow-ups for the Jumanji and Bad Boys franchises. Netflix will also license rights to select titles from SPE’s movie library.
“At Sony Pictures, we produce some of the biggest blockbusters and the most creative, original films in the industry,” said Keith Le Goy, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution. “[These] exciting agreement[s] further demonstrate the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment.”