An earlier report had Disney announcing it will be pulling their films from Netflix in 2019, but now the network is in active discussions with them about keeping Marvel and Star Wars films beyond 2019, a senior executive said today.
Disney announced its Tuesday that it was pulling new Disney and Pixar films from Netflix starting with new releases in 2019. It will start putting the films on a new Disney-branded online service that year.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told analysts the company had not decided where it would distribute superhero films from Marvel Studios and Star Wars producer Lucasfilm at that time. Disney owns both Marvel and Lucasfilm.
The fate of both franchises on streaming services remains uncertain, because Iger said Disney can distribute to another service, allow Netflix to retain or keep it in house to their own streaming service.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Reuters he expects Disney’s service to be “complementary” to Netflix since they also carry family-friendly animated films from Illumination Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation.
The ball is clearly in Disney’s court, because with Netflix’s $20.54 billion debt and mounting streaming competition, the stakes will only get higher as they try to maintain the balance of creating original and retaining existing content.
As long as the network keeps its subscriber base and sustained interest, things should level off.