David Zaslav Says Putting DC Movies on Netflix ‘Enhances the Quality’ of DC Library

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has no qualms about allowing DC movies to stream on Netflix ahead of the release of the sequel “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” this December. In fact, Zaslav explained on the company’s third quarter earnings call that this specific licensing deal enhances the quality of the entire DC library.

In response to a question about licensing WBD content to streamers beyond Max, Zaslav explained the thinking behind putting select DC movies on a rival like Netflix for a limited time on a non-exclusive basis.

“Someone might have it for three months or six months. We always have those movies and we have the complete set of all those movies,” he said. “And candidly, we have found that we won’t do it unless the economics are significant. But in many cases, it really helps us. People come back and then they want to see the full bouquet of DC movies and the only place to do that is with us. Or it enhances the quality of the DC library.”

Starting Dec. 1, “Man of Steel,” “Batman v. Superman,” “Suicide Squad,” “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League,” “Birds of Prey,” “Wonder Woman: 1984” and “The Suicide Squad” will be streaming on Netflix in addition to Max for a limited window.

Notably, the only place to stream the first “Aquaman” before the sequel hits theaters will be Max, and other films like “The Batman” and “Joker” aren’t making the jump, but the availability of other interconnected DC universe films could see a boost in interest in the larger DC library.

Max is also the exclusive streaming home of newer titles like “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and “The Flash” as of right now.

Licensing – especially to Netflix – has grown increasingly popular over the last few months following the smashing success of the USA series “Suits” once it hit the streamer, and in September Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max and AMC partnered up to showcase select AMC shows on Max through Halloween.

Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy of films is a frequent presence on Netflix, but the more recent interconnected “DC universe” movies are not.

Zaslav said the company is looking for more licensing opportunities but doesn’t tackle them lightly.

“I think we’re trying to figure out exactly how to maximize the value, and we debate it all the time.”

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