‘Star Wars,’ Marvel Films Moving From Netflix to Disney Streaming Service

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Courtesy of Disney

Disney CEO Bob Iger on Thursday delivered a blow to Netflix, saying the company had decided to move Marvel and “Star Wars” films to its forthcoming streaming service, set to launch in 2019.

The announcement ends speculation about what would happen to the Marvel and Lucasfilm titles currently being streamed on Netflix. When the Walt Disney Company announced last month that it would launch a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service, Iger said Disney and Pixar movies on Netflix would move to the planned streaming service.

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“We’ve now decided we will put the Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ movies on this app as well,” Iger said during a question-and-answer session at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media’s communications and entertainment conference held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Iger also narrowed the time frame when the Disney streaming service will launch, saying he expects it will go live in late 2019. The announcement of a streaming platform signaled Disney felt ready to compete in the digital streaming space that Netflix has dominated in recent years. Netflix has been ramping up its original offerings in an effort to reduce its dependency on licensing content like Disney hits “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory,” and “Rogue One.”

Shortly after Disney announced its plans, Netflix hit back by poaching ABC Television hitmaker Shonda Rhimes in an exclusive overall deal. Rhimes, the “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator, has spent more then a decade at Disney’s ABC. The development came amid negotiations between Disney and Netflix over the streaming rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm titles.

Iger offered a few more details Thursday about its streaming service, saying Disney plans to produce four or five original movies per year, as well as an equal number of original series and TV movies. A price for the subscription has not yet been announced.

Investors didn’t seem to be cheered by Iger’s announcement. Disney shares were down about 4% in midday trading after the news broke, on what has so far been a down day overall for the Dow and S&P 500 indexes.

Netflix shares, on the other hand, were not hurt by the Disney news, nor did they see a bounce. Shares were up about 30 cents, or less than 1%, in midday trading. 

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  1. Disney (via ABC) is partially responsible for the collapse of TV. I’ll never pay them to poison the minds of my children.

  2. Igor Kholkin says:

    At a projected fee of $5/month, Disney will have more than enough subscribers (especially young parents). I’m more curious when regular cable will realize they need to offer a-la-carte options for consumers. At some point in the next decade that option will be better than having to pay for all these separate streaming services.

  3. Nope. I love the Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and Indiana Jones movies but will not pay for another streaming service. Not gonna happen.

  4. jack says:

    Will Disney stream Song of the South?

  5. How many strange writings people write. I really have difficulty understanding

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  7. Tom says:

    Not a concern…I still get everything as physical media.

  8. Greg says:

    Stupid. So basically cable is just being rebranded under different streaming services. It might be more affordable in the long run for people to simply keep their cable subscriptions. The writing is on the wall. The obvious trend in the next few years will be studios creating their own exclusive streaming services with exclusive and newly produced content. The next step will be subscription bundles that combine various streaming subscriptions for a lower price than subscribing to them all individually and then voila! Cable 2.0 is born, except this time more expensive. I hate Bob Iger.

  9. robncaruso says:

    This gives you an opportunity to pick and choose what you want in a streaming service. For someone it might be Amazon and Hulu or Netflix and You Tube. There is so much entertainment out there and so many choices. Pick what you can afford and watch what you can. It’s impossible to watch everything that streams. I’m happy with Netflix and Amazon, I can’t even watch a quarter of what is streamed!

    • There is no way I’m buying yet another streaming service. I can easily go back to buying BluRay Discs or DVD’s for what I want. Many of us jettisoned cable because it was becoming too expensive. After a while, we’ll be right back to paying over a hundred or 200 hundred dollars. 10 here, 11, there, 14 somewhere else. Oh HELL NO!

  10. Cath says:

    How much is this service going to cost? I would imagine that would determine whether families will shell out another subscription fee.

  11. Dumb move. I’m not paying for yet another monthly subscription to a channel no matter how much I like the films. They would have been better off switching them to Amazon and charging an on-demand fee.

  12. paully says:

    I will just buy the 4K BluRay discs.. I do anyway.. Ha ha..

  13. paully says:

    Netflix is just too expensive for Disney to buy.. So the Mouse will replicate it at a fraction.. Netflix should have seen this coming ..

    • nerdrage says:

      Netflix DID see this coming. This is exactly why they started making their own original series, knowing that their licensing sources would become competitors when they saw that Netflix was succeeding with streaming.

  14. KB says:

    So does this mean that Daredevil and the others go to them, or will they stay put at Netflix ? I need to know where to get my Daredevil and Punisher fix.

  15. Fernando says:

    The revenue should go to the creator. This move by Disney makes perfect sense. Why should anyone else get credit for it?

    Netflix was able to grow thanks to companies like Disney (Disney didn’t need Netflix), and it’s become a creator itself.

    Unfortunately it churns out mostly turds lately, but at least it understands that creators have all the power.

    Compare those productions to the box office successes of Disney, now who’s stock should drop?? My money is and stays on Disney.

  16. Rich Brown says:

    These guys are just giving more incentive for people to download those shady apps to watch stuff for free.

  17. William Olivas says:

    HORRIBLE move. Of all the companies to be unscrupulously greedy, why Disney?? YOU ALREADY HAVE ALL THE MONEY. Goodbye disney on netflix, hello the rest of netflix

  18. Gregory A Yohnk says:

    Sorry Disney, very bad move. Very few are going to subscribe to another streaming service.

  19. I already have Prime and Netflix and I’m not purchasing a third streaming service. Guess I’ll be watching once in the theater if I decide to see them then I’ll wait till they constantly re-run on TV.

  20. Mike says:

    What’s the difference between Original Movies and TV movies? Are the original movies going to theatres first?

    • nerdrage says:

      There will be a split between moves made for streaming (Amazon, Netflix, Disney, etc) and movies made for theaters, mainly in the ones made for theaters having bigger budgets for enhanced eye candy and sound to take advantage of the theatrical experience vs. home.

      Really, what’s the distinction between a movie for streaming and a TV series for streaming other than length? Take Netflix’s Death Note. If that gets a sequel movie, is that a movie series or just a TV series with longer episodes and less of them? The distinction between movies and TV shows is artificial and breaking down.

  21. That's What She says:

    Aw, does anyone ‘member DIVX, and how Lol-lydurp tried to control everyone’s viewing habits then? Anybody ‘member that? Now you don’t need to, cuz there’s no better incentive for a consumer than proprietary conveience, no matter the ultimate price.

  22. Love Disney and Marvel, but I will not sign up for another service. I hope this fails. Does Disney’s greed see no end?

  23. i don’t trust disney since they went ‘limp wristed on a LOT of things that they do.

  24. Bill says:

    To all those cord cutters, here it is. We are moving into a world of streaming video services. Guess what though, each has exclusive content and won’t share anymore. $20+ for Disney when it launches, ESPN $20, Netflix $10, Hulu $10, CBS $10, $16 for HBO, Showtime, Cinemax or Starz each. Let’s add costs for Amazon Prime, VUDO and oh what else. Soon you will have ABC, NBC having their own like CBS at $10 each. You can see overall costs of $170 or more just on streaming services.
    Don’t forget with all these streaming services, make sure you have the download capability so up your internet speeds. So let’s add another $80-$100.
    I hear complaints about cable and cutting the cord but honestly, you can still get local news programs, special events, local events, live events and actually way more variety to choose from. Cord Cutting isn’t saving anyone any money anymore and it is going to kill the local channels/networks. Soon, you won’t have the option anymore and then you will be at the mercy of networks like Disney who will jack their prices up even higher.

    • nerdrage says:

      We’re in the crazy-expansion phase, to be followed by the bloody-shakeout phase. The only services that will survive are the very biggest (defined on a global basis – all the hopeful winners must go global quickly) because as we can see in comments sections like this, there isn’t much appetite for streaming services outside of two or three of the biggest. This battle is over who gets to be the three or four biggest services, which will dominate global entertainment distribution. The stakes are gigantic here.

    • That's What She says:

      We’re all racing toward a subscription based future, where no one really “owns” anything anymore, and we’re all to happy to give Big Conglom all the control.

  25. Don Mureness says:

    Right now, I’m paying 25 for Sling, 11 for Hulu and l2 for Netflix. And I STILL can’t get local channels. Cutting the cord is no longer cost effective as the market segments even more.

  26. JoeMcG says:

    Are we surprised? Disney has always kept the “A” list stuff for themselves. The library available on Netflix has always been pretty limited. If they include the entire Disney library, including all the Marvel and Lucas Film titles, then they have a shot at breaking into the streaming market big time… but if they hold back just one hit film, then people will feel betrayed. They’re already going to feel upset when they realize many of their favorite titles won’t be available on the Disney service because they actually belong to other Studios (Star Wars 1-6 with 20th Century Fox, Spiderman 1-3, and Amazing Spiderman 1-2 with Sony, Indiana Jones with Paramount, etc…)… unless, of course, Disney cuts a deal with those studios. I have to ask… Where is the Justice Department on all of this? They forced the Studios to divest themselves of theaters (U.S. v. Paramount – 1948)… how is this any different?

    • Digital distribution is considered the same as DVD/VHS sales – which, if we remember, Disney is the king of already. So there’s no need for the Justice Department’s involvement. Basically, you can create and directly sell the things you create (whether that be a digital download, a film reel, or a DVD). But you cannot be the sole proprietor of the end result. Meaning people cannot be forced to buy a device from you to access that content (which is what got Sony into trouble).

      • That's What She says:

        But the “device” in question is what nearly everyone already owns anyway. The app will be for free, the actual content nnnnnnnnnnnotsomuch.

  27. feckyerlife says:

    The way all this crap is going with every company wanting their own streaming service. soon and i mean very soon cutting the cord is going to end up costing you more than having the cord

  28. Jacques Strappe says:

    Those “Netflix is a joke” billboards put up by the giant streaming service just might be prescient as more giant media companies like Disney pull content from Netflix.

  29. Sky26 says:

    Welcome to the digital future, everyone, where the cost of getting and MAINTAINING access to all of the content you want to enjoy will cost you FAR MORE than your old cable or satellite services. And be prepared for even FURTHER splintering as other Big Studios realize the value of bringing their massive content libraries back home to their own services. I can imagine Warner will be the next to make the jump. The other studios (Fox, Sony, Universal, etc.) may not have massive back/new catalogs like Disney and WB, but I can imagine they’re weighing their options now, too.

    Kinda glad I held on to a lot of my discs . . .

    • That's What She says:

      Too bad those discs will see their end in The Great Burnin-ing! Submit, lest ye be satisfied with the measly 1080p! The Property Police come for YOU!!

      Damn, I’m scaring myself there…

  30. I wonder what price they will set. If it starts off at $7 then maybe, but if they expect to charge what Netflix is charging then it’s a no.

  31. Terry says:

    I’m already shelling out $13 a month for Netflix premium. So Disney can shove it!

  32. lindsey says:

    i would only subscribe to this if ALL the Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney movies were available ALL the time (like HBO and Netflix originals). not interested in paying $12/month for them to dole out 10 movies and pretend the rest can’t be bothered bc they’re in the Disney vault

    • Based on his comments, that does sound like it will be the case. You’ll be able to stream all Disney films and TV all the time, in addition to the exclusive content on the service.

      • Fred says:

        I watched all of the available seasons of Marvel Agents of SHIELD (great show by the way) on Netflix. Do you think that will also move over? What about Once Upon a Time and other corporate owned shows?

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