Under the pact — signed three and a half years ago — Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay-TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar, chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote in a blog post Monday. Currently, Starz has the “pay one” output rights to Disney titles in the States.
Netflix’s U.S. rights cover Disney movies starting with 2016 theatrical releases, which means American streaming subs will not have access to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Instead, Starz will have streaming rights to the blockbuster space epic in the U.S.
Disney’s 2016 movie slate includes “Zootopia” (pictured above), as well as “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Finding Dory,” Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Doctor Strange,” “Moana” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The Disney-Netflix deal for the U.S. covers movies released through the end of 2018.
“The 2016 (Disney) releases will start rolling on in September and we’ll share specific dates/titles closer to their premiere on the service,” a Netflix rep said.
Meanwhile, Netflix also disclosed that several older Disney titles will be leaving the service in June. Those include “Hercules” (June 1) as well as “Mulan” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame” (June 24); Disney movies that will remain include “Tarzan,” “Robin Hood,” “Lilo & Stitch” and “Emperor’s New Groove.”
In Canada, Netflix’s output deal with Disney began with 2015 releases after the previous agreements for the pay-TV window with Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada expired (which means subs in the Great White North will have access to “Force Awakens”).
According to Sarandos, Netflix sees about a 20% increase in movie watching by members in the U.S. around Memorial Day weekend, and the exec provided a list of new titles coming to the service over the summer.
On May 27, Netflix will launch Adam Sandler’s new comedy, “The Do-Over,” the second original film with Sandler after “The Ridiculous Six.” “Do-Over” stars Sandler and David Spade as buddies who reunite at their 25th high school reunion for the ultimate mulligan: wiping the slate clean by faking their own deaths.
In June, the streaming service is set to add “Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park: The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park 3” (June 1); Oscar winner “Spotlight” (June 22), about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover up of child abuse by priests, starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton; and Netflix original comedy “The Fundamentals of Caring” (June 24) with Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts.
That will be followed by “The Big Short” (July 6) with Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale; “Brahman Naman” (July 7), another Netflix original film, which “brings the ribaldry of American Pie and takes it to India in the 1980s,” per Sarandos; “Tallulah” (July 29), another Netflix original starring Allison Janney and Ellen Page; plus movie franchises “Back to The Future” and “Lethal Weapon.”
In August, Netflix will premiere “The Little Prince,” an animated film based on the beloved children’s book, featuring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Ricky Gervais, Marion Cotillard and James Franco. Other titles also arriving in August include “The Fast & The Furious,” “The Wedding Planner” and “St. Vincent.”