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Netflix and Sony Pictures Entertainment have cemented their growing ties with a major licensing deal. Under its terms, the streaming titan has exclusive U.S. rights to stream Sony’s theatrical releases in the first pay tv window.

This means the studio’s films can come to Netflix after theatrical and home entertainment windows. The pact, which begins with Sony’s 2022 slate, will cover live-action tentpoles like Morbius, Uncharted, and Bullet Train, as well as Sony Pictures Animation’s hotly anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and other Marvel content.

Netflix also has a first-look agreement covering all Sony’s original direct-to-streaming movies, and has committed to a certain number of those titles; Sony can sell titles Netflix turns down to other streamers. In addition, Netflix will license older films from the studio’s library. The deal was reported to be worth over $1 billion by The Wall Street Journal and due to last five years.

Sony’s previous pay-tv partner for live action was Starz, except for Sony Pictures Animation, which already had an output deal with Netflix that dated back to 2014. In recent months, two forthcoming SPA titles have been unveiled as Netflix exclusives in the U.S.: the Chinese co-production Wish Dragon and Mike Rianda’s The Mitchells vs. the Machines.

Alone among the major studios, Sony does not have its own mass-market streaming platform to rival Netflix. Whereas Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount, and Disney are increasingly sending content to HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, and Disney+ respectively, Sony is throwing in its lot with Netflix itself.

Image at top: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”