Disney announced on Tuesday that it was pulling
new Disney and Pixar films from Netflix, starting with new
releases in 2019. It will start putting the movies on a new
Disney-branded online service that year.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told analysts the
company had not yet decided where it would distribute superhero
films from Marvel Studios and movies from "Star Wars" producer
Lucasfilm, which the company owns, at that time.
Netflix is still in discussions with Disney about retaining
rights to stream Marvel and Lucasfilm releases after 2019, Chief
Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Reuters.
Shares of Netflix were up 1.3 percent at $171.41 in afternoon
trading after falling 5 percent in the two days following
A Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. Iger said on Tuesday that the Marvel and Lucasfilm
movies could go to Netflix or another streaming service after
2019, or Disney might retain the rights for itself.
Sarandos said he expected Disney's service to be "complementary"
to Netflix, which carries other family-friendly programing such
as animated movies from "Despicable Me" creator Illumination
Entertainment and "Shrek" producer Dreamworks Animation.
Disney's plan to stream its content directly to consumers is "a
natural evolution" for traditional media companies that Netflix
expected, Sarandos said in an interview at an event to celebrate
Emmy nominations for his company's drama, "The Crown."
"That's why we got into the originals business five years ago,
anticipating it may be not as easy a conversation with studios
and networks" to license their content, he added.
Disney's break from Netflix applies only to its film deal in the
United States, where the streaming service runs new Disney
movies shortly after they leave theaters.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
and Lisa Von Ahn)
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