Netflix Will Remain the Streaming Home for Universal and DreamWorks Animated Films (After They Hit Peacock)

For years now, Netflix has been the streaming home for Illumination Entertainment’s films, which are distributed by Universal Pictures. That deal will remain in place even longer as Netflix and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group have struck a new multi-year deal to be the exclusive streaming home for all Universal’s animated movies, including the library and future releases of DreamWorks Animation.  However, more specific details clarify that NBCUniversal’s Peacock will still stream Universal’s new animated movies first.

Variety has news on the new Universal Netflix deal for animated movies. Under the new multi-year agreement, Netflix will be streaming franchises like Shrek, Despicable Me, Kung Fu Panda, Minions, Madagascar, The Secret Life of Pets, and more. However, when it comes to new titles from those studios, such as Minions: The Rise of Gru and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Netflix will only stream them after they have an exclusive four-month window on Peacock.

Universal clearly wants to boost Peacock numbers by giving them a first crack at the streaming debut of their biggest family-friendly franchises. They’re likely also enjoying the money that comes from Netflix paying for the streaming rights to those franchises, something that helps Netflix keep families subscribing to their service. After all, The Secret Life of Pets 2 was one of Netflix’s most popular movies ever, and The Grinch and Despicable Me were constantly streamed as well.

There was some concern that Universal might keep these movies to themselves after the studio recently opted to shift their live-action releases to an exclusive streaming window on Peacock rather than continuing their longtime deal with HBO. Since Universal also struck a new deal with Amazon and IMDb TV for streaming rights to their movies after their Peacock exclusivity window of four months, it makes sense to keep the same deal for their animated movies at Netflix.

Netflix Will Also Get Live-Action Universal Movies … Eventually

Even though the bulk of this deal is concerned with Universal’s animated movies from Illumination Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation, it also includes access to Universal’s live-action films. Netflix will be able to license the rights to Universal’s live-action slate four years after their release, and there are apparently select Universal library titles that were included as part of the deal, though no specific movies were mentioned.

That means that long after Peacock, Amazon, and IMDb TV have streamed new movies from Universal, the streaming library at Netflix will get ahold of them. It’s kind of like how a movie will get a VOD release followed by a pay cable release, then a basic cable debut, and finally a network television premiere. Netflix is just further down the streaming release road for Universal’s live-action movies.

Peter Levinsohn, vice chairman and chief distribution officer of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group said in a statement:

“Netflix has been a terrific partner and we‘re thrilled to expand our relationship. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group produces some of the biggest animated franchises and boldest originals from some of the most influential, impactful and inspiring creators in the industry. This exciting agreement further demonstrates the importance of that content to our distribution partners as they grow their audiences and deliver the very best in entertainment.”

Surely mothers and fathers around the world are rejoicing at being able to continue to distract their kids with the movies that are constantly playing in their households over and over again. There’s absolutely no way they’re sick of The Secret Life of Pets 2 yet.

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