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Apple TV+ is reportedly gearing up to invest $1 billion annually to produce blockbuster movies as it aims to expand its presence in the film industry. According to sources from Bloomberg, the tech giant’s original films division is planning to release movies in thousands of theaters, potentially partnering with a yet-to-be-named distribution company. The move is part of Apple’s effort to give their films a one-month exclusive theatrical window before they are released on their streaming platform, Apple TV+.
Although Apple TV+ has already produced critically acclaimed films such as “CODA” and “Greyhound”, these movies had limited theatrical releases, and screened in only a few hundred sites. The company’s new strategy aims to change this by giving significant movies a broader theatrical release to promote the streaming service and increase the chances of winning awards.
Apple is also looking to partner with other studios to distribute their films with extended theatrical runs, which would allow them to tap into the existing fan base of these studios. This partnership would be a win-win situation for both Apple and the studios as Apple gets to expand its content library and the studios get to maximize their revenue.
Apple’s move to prioritize a theatrical release of its films comes as the industry tries to navigate the pandemic’s impact on the movie theater business.
However, with the ongoing success of streaming platforms, the theater industry has been struggling to attract audiences, making it difficult for movies to make a significant profit in theaters. By extending the theatrical runs, Apple is trying to promote the theatrical experience while also leveraging the success of its streaming platform.
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One of the films reportedly set to receive an extended theatrical run is “Killers of the Flower Moon”, directed by Martin Scorsese, and written by Scorsese, Eric Roth, and David Grann. Apple acquired the streaming rights to the film on the condition that it will have a theatrical release.
This requirement is also in line with the Oscars’ rules, which state that a film must have had a theatrical run of at least seven consecutive days in the same commercial motion picture theater, during which period screenings must occur at least three times daily, with at least one screening beginning between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily.