Photo Credit: Marvel/Disney/Lucasfilm
In what comes as a surprise, the Disney movie catalogue – including Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Walt Disney itself – isn't exclusive to Hotstar any more, just over a year after the Star India-owned streaming service signed a deal with Disney India for its film and TV slate. In fact, many Disney films are now only available on Netflix, while some remain with Hotstar.
Of the 18 Marvel movies yet released, including last month's Black Panther, 14 are currently available to stream. Netflix has seven of those, including The Incredible Hulk (2008), Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Ant-Man (2015).
Hotstar has six: Iron Man 2 (2010), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Doctor Strange (2016). Amazon Prime Video has the remaining one, Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017); though the film is part of Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures has the distribution rights worldwide.
This goes beyond Marvel films. While Hotstar retains the rights to most Pixar films till 2013, that's not the case for those released since then. Both Inside Out (2015) and The Good Dinosaur (2015) are with Netflix, while Hotstar has Finding Dory (2016). Over at Lucasfilm, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) is also with Netflix, while Rogue One remains with Hotstar.
Films produced under Disney's own banner are also split between Hotstar and Netflix, similarly. While most films since 2013 are now with Netflix – the likes of Frozen (2013), Maleficent (2014), Big Hero 6 (2014), Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), and Zootopia (2016) – those that released before 2013 are still with Hotstar, such as The Lone Ranger (2013), John Carter (2012), The Muppets (2011), and Winnie the Pooh (2011). Only one film is available with both: Wreck-It Ralph (2012).
It's clear from this mess that the exclusive deal between Disney India and Hotstar is over. More proof came from Amazon's announcement last week that it had signed a long-term TV deal with Disney India, which granted it rights to shows such as Inhumans, Runaways, and the upcoming Cloak and Dagger.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to both Disney and Hotstar to comment on the matter, but we didn't immediately hear back. We'll update this story if we get a response.
It'll be interesting how this changes if Disney's Fox acquisition goes through US regulators. 21st Century Fox owns Star India, which means Hotstar could end up being owned by Disney in the near future. Disney is also currently working on its own streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019.