Netflix discussing keeping Disney’s Marvel, ‘Star Wars’ films

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas California
FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., on January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

August 11, 2017

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc is in “active discussions” with Walt Disney Co about keeping Marvel and “Star Wars” films after 2019, when new Disney and Pixar movies will stop appearing on the streaming service, a senior executive said late on Thursday.

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 Disney’s announcement.

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)

  • JimmyZ

    Something tells me Disney is going to lose big on this idea. Why would a Netflix customer want to sign up to another service to watch Marvel and Disney which is sub par not awesome and pay another subscription.

  • A marcus Young

    I have ended my subscription to Netflix because they only offer crap now.

  • DOCWRIGHT

    Has any one but me noticed a lot of movies from India lately of Netflix? Were the bought out by and Indian company?

    • A marcus Young

      Yes because they work cheaper than Americans, and illegal immigrants are a liability now.

  • thecleaner45

    Drop them please Netflix. Nothing to see on any of them. I would rather see more of Netflix originals than anything from Disney or any other failed company!

  • R A.

    I could give a flying EFF
    Give me Andy Griffith and Twilight Zone reruns ALL DAY LONG.
    Oh, and the old Westerns like Gunsmoke and Rifle Man

  • Fredd_Ziffle

    I hope Disney goes through with it and cuts their own greedy throats. Everything remotely bearing the Disney-brand has become outrageously overpriced, and the market WILL have the final say (and laugh).

    • A marcus Young

      Disney lost that special something decades ago. Its a dirty run down liberal one armed bandit now.

  • claymore cluepile

    video stores put the mom and pop smalltown movie screens out of business…internet and cable put the video stores out of business…netflix is putting cable and television out of business…product makers will put netflix out of business……….netflix needs to be making its own cinderella and star wars stuff, not begging disney.

    • A marcus Young

      Liberal Hollywood needs to be defunded. Read a book instead.

  • gospursgo

    Didn’t Disney just announce it is pulling all of its content from Netflix because they are starting their own streaming service?

    • Joseph Tidwell

      starting in 2019, but imo, its a failed venture for disney… someone is pie charting the profits, but its gonna cost em..