When the next films in the Spider-Man, Venom, and Jumanji series leave theaters next year, they’ll be heading to a new streaming home. Variety reports that Netflix has won a nearly two-year auction for the exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Sony Pictures’ theatrical releases, starting in 2022. Yes, MCU fans, that means you can watch Spider-Man: No Way Home as many times as you want without having to shell out on an Amazon Prime Video rental or signing up for a Starz subscription.
Since it looks like the U.S. is one step closer to safely opening movie theaters across the country, this won’t be a similar setup to what Warner Bros. and its corporate cousin HBO Max worked out: The movies will head to Netflix during what’s referred to in the industry as the “pay-one window”—a period of time that traditionally begins nine months after a theatrical release, but has been getting shorter in recent years because of, well, situations like this and the one that put Godzilla Vs. Kong on your computer screen last weekend. Some Sony movies might still premiere on Netflix, however: Variety reports that the studio and the streaming service have struck a first-look agreement for any “movies produced for the direct-to-streaming market.”
Library titles are part of the package as well, which means that Netflix will license older movies from Sony, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems, and TriStar Pictures. Netflix subscribers can expect to see a mix of classics and new releases from the studio in the next year, and for a few years after—the deal is believed to run for at least five years. That’s two years longer than the partnership between Disney and Netflix that was supposed to begin in 2016—an arrangement that was cut short following the announcement of Disney+.