Amazon has struck a multi-year deal for exclusive Prime Video streaming rights for Universal's live-action theatrical releases. As Deadline reports, it's the first time Amazon has made such an agreement with a major US studio. The deal kicks in with Universal's 2022 slate of movies.
Here's where things might get a little confusing. The deal is for a chunk of the pay-one window, which is the 18-month period after a movie's theatrical run. Earlier this week, Universal and its NBCUniversal sibling Peacock reached a similar agreement for the first four and last four months of the window.
Within four months of their theatrical release date, Universal's live-action movies will start streaming on Peacock. Four months after that, they'll move over to Prime Video for 10 months, then the films will go back to Peacock for at least another four months. Streaming rights can get pretty complicated!
The deal covers blockbusters such as Jurassic World: Dominion, Get Out director Jordan Peele's next horror film and Halloween Ends. Movies from Focus Features and Blumhouse are also part of the pact.
Netflix currently streams Universal's animated movies from Illumination and DreamWorks. According to Deadline, from next year onwards, Netflix might still stream the studio's animated releases for the 10 months of the pay-one window that they're not on Peacock. In any case, those films will hit Prime Video at a later date. Phew.
Meanwhile, Amazon's free streaming service IMDb TV will hold exclusive streaming rights for 2020 and 2021 theatrical movies from Universal. The deal covers The Invisible Man and current box office champ F9, along with some older animated movies like Despicable Me 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek 2.
The Prime Video deal follows a major agreement between Netflix and Sony Pictures. Starting in 2022, Netflix will have exclusive rights to Sony's theatrical releases for the 18-month pay-one window. So, movies like Uncharted, the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel and Morbius are all Netflix-bound.