Apple Reportedly Allocates $1 Billion for Theatrical Releases

Apple plans to spend $1 billion a year on theatrical release films, according to Bloomberg, which say the move is “part of an ambitious effort to raise its profile in Hollywood and lure subscribers to its streaming service.” The films will reportedly play in theaters for at least one month before debuting on Apple TV+. Martin Scorsese’s crime drama “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ridley Scott’s historical drama “Napoleon,” are among the Apple-funded projects expected to be released in “thousands of theaters,” though Apple still hasn’t finalized distribution arrangements.

Paramount Pictures will release Apple’s “Killers” film for a 10 percent fee, but the companies haven’t entered into a long-term arrangement, according to Bloomberg, which says Apple is still figuring out how it wants to structure distribution and marketing expenditures.

“Movie studios can spend $100 million or more to market their biggest titles, far more than streaming services spend promoting new shows or movies,” writes Bloomberg, adding that “like most streaming services, Apple TV+ spends more of its budget on TV shows.”

It is a somewhat ironic twist that production companies — which used to use television to market movies and create awareness for theatrical — now view theaters as a promotional tool for home viewing. While in the past “Apple has agreed to theatrical releases in order to please talent and outmaneuver competitors for projects, the company also views theaters as a way to build awareness for its TV+ streaming service,” writes Bloomberg.

Apple TV+ “is estimated to have between 20 million and 40 million subscribers,” according to Bloomberg, putting it behind competitors like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon’s “Creed III” has earned more than $224 million at the global box office since its March 3 debut, according to Collider. The latest installment in the “Rocky” saga is set to debut on Prime Video April 7, but will not be available to stream free for members, only to rent or purchase, reports TechRadar.

In November, Bloomberg reported that Amazon is planning to spend $1 billion a year on films that will premiere theatrically before coming to the company’s bespoke streaming platform, a story that was picked up by CNBC and others. Bloomberg reported Amazon, which acquired MGM in 2022, will issue from 12 to 15 movies for movie theaters per year. Variety writes that all-in, in 2022 Amazon spent $16.6 billion on film and video content, including its $1 billion NFL deal.

As the market for premium content becomes increasingly competitive, Apple feels it must up the ante in order to win bidding wars. “When CAA was shopping a Formula One movie starring Brad Pitt … and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, it had the power to dictate terms,” writes Bloomberg, adding, “so, Apple said it would release the project in theaters.”

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.