We've all heard the big news that Neflix signed an exclusivity deal with Disney to stream Marvel, LucasFilm, and Pixar movies through its digital service. Of course, the first thing many of us thought about was the Star Wars franchise, and more specifically, The Force Awakens. Well, if you live in the US, you can put all of your hopes of streaming The Force Awakens on Netflix into a basket and push it out into the ocean because it ain't gonna happen.
According to Polygon,
The deal, which was struck between the two companies years ago, only counts theatrical releases from Jan. 1, 2016, onward.
Polygon spoke with a Disney representative who clarified that, due to contractual limitations, exclusivity covers movies that are released after Jan. 1, 2016. Currently, Starz holds the rights to stream The Force Awakens.
Stars did, however, lose its rights to international broadcasting in early 2015, which means The Force Awakens will be available to stream on Netflix in Canada this September. Go Canada!
This news is somewhat bittersweet. While word has officially come down that The Force Awakens will never come to Netflix in the US, that same Disney representative confirmed that "all future installments, including Rogue One," will.
This means that any Disney movie — which includes Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel properties — released theatrically after Jan. 1, 2015, will be available to stream on Netflix in Canada.
Which actually comes as a surprise to me. Disney already has a handful of titles streaming on Netflix, most of which weren't the company's best sellers - I call them the B-team movies - Atlantis, The Emperor's New Groove, Tarzan. Don't get me wrong, I like most of Disney's B-team movies. My point is that you won't see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, or Peter Pan on Netflix.
I always figured that Disney keeps its biggest titles under lock and key, where no streaming services can get to it. They are still making money selling or renting their most popular animated movies. So, there isn't much incentive to hand them over to a streaming service. But, if they are willing to drop the Star Wars franchise into our couch-lounging laps, then who knows what else Disney will let us stream on Netflix - Zootopia? The Big Friendly Giant? The Jungle Book?
So, if you haven't already, you're going to have to purchase The Force Awakens if you want to watch it digitally in the US. But, episodes VIII, and IX, as well as Rogue One, the young Han Solo movie, the Boba Fett movie, and any other future Star Wars titles will be in your streaming queue some day in the near future, in this galaxy right here.
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