The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is now available on Netflix UK.
In a way, Unexpected Journey is right: in the land of streaming new films, Sky is the one service to rule them all. NOW TV even boasts of that fact on their homepage, emphasising that they have the most recent movies “up to 12 months” before its subscription-based rivals. Now, thanks to Netflix nabbing the rights to Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic novel, NOW TV should probably update their site:
Other recent releases on Netflix UK include Gone in 60 Seconds, Celeste and Jesse Forever, 13 Ghosts, Adaptation – titles far more typical of the site’s range of releases.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’s debut, then, is a big deal. And that’s not just because it lasts 169 minutes.
But while it may be a surprise to many subscribers, Netflix actually sealed the deal a long time ago – in fact, before it even launched in the UK. Netflix signed a deal with MGM all the way back in 2011, given them a “multi-year licensing agreement” with exclusive online rights to some of MGM’s titles. Which is why Sky’s NOWTV doesn’t have The Hobbit. Netflix will also enjoy rights to older MGM content, from The Usual Suspects to West Side Story.
The Hobbit’s arrival comes at a good time for Netflix, which is setting itself apart as a unique service in the UK; it follows the announcement of a second season of Orange Is the New Black and the acquisition of the rights for Ricky Gervais’ Derek from Channel 4 – and, of course, the decision to broadcast Breaking Bad’s final episodes just 24 hours after they air in the US, starting from Monday 12th August.
“We’re on the lookout for someone to share in an adventure,” Netflix tweeted yesterday. We expect a lot of people to be joining them.