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Sony Pictures movies will stream first on Netflix instead of Starz

Sony Pictures has signed a new deal with Netflix that will see the streamer become the exclusive home of films like Uncharted and Morbius when they finish their theatrical and home video runs beginning in 2022, via Deadline.

The new deal sees Netflix replace Starz as Sony’s partner for the “pay one window” for what Deadline says is a “recording-setting price tag.” Netflix is an obvious choice for Sony, given that the company already has a pay one deal for its animated releases. But the new deal is far more comprehensive and will see Sony’s theatrical films from its Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems, and TriStar Pictures studios all head to Netflix.

It’s the kind of deal that’s increasingly rare to see in the world of cinema, given that companies like Disney (which previously had a similar $300 million deal with Netflix from 2016 to 2019) and Warner Bros. are skipping pay one deals to send their films directly to their respective in-house Disney Plus and HBO Max streaming services. And NBCUniversal — which currently has pay one deals with Netflix for its Universal films and HBO Max for its animated Illumination lineup — is reportedly mulling a similar change that would funnel its movies to Peacock instead.

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The new deal will also give Netflix a first look at any of Sony’s original movies that it’s looking to send directly to streaming (although Sony will still be able to sell to competitors if Netflix passes). Netflix is committing to buying an unspecified minimum number of movies, however. Additionally, the streaming company will also license older movies from Sony’s library to be available on Netflix, too.

“At Sony Pictures, we produce some of the biggest blockbusters and the most creative, original films in the industry. This exciting agreement further demonstrates the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment,” Keith Le Goy, Sony Pictures’ president of worldwide distribution and networks, said in a statement.