Apple could invest $1 billion a year in the production and distribution of movies, to promote its TV+ service and improve its position in Hollywood.
Bloomberg’s source said Apple plans to spend $ 1 billion a year to produce and distribute movies in theaters. This is part of an effort to raise the profile of Apple in Hollywood, and attract users to subscribe to TV+.
Apple is said to have approached a number of studios to collaborate on theatrical distribution this year. The list of possible works in theaters includes Killers of the Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the horror film Argylle directed by Matthew Vaughn and Napoléon by Ridley Scott.
Previously, most movies produced by Apple were released exclusively on TV+ or certain theaters to qualify for the Oscars.
Apple does not currently have its own division to distribute movies in thousands of theaters around the world. That’s why the company is seeking cooperation from third-party distributors, with a commitment to keep the film in theaters for at least a month.
To bring the film to theaters, Apple would have to sign a distribution and promotion contract. Some famous works cost more than 100 million USD to advertise, more than online movie watching services.
Apple currently spends a lot of money on TV production. The first success of TV+ came from the comedy series Ted Lasso. Apple’s ambition to “invade” the screen is growing after CODA won the Oscar 2022 for Best Picture.
A scene from the movie CODA. Photo: Apple TV+.
Previously, Apple bought the copyright worth $ 25 million to simultaneously release CODA on TV + and theaters. The film’s box office gross is less than $2 million.
Apple is also releasing Cherry, a film starring Tom Holland, in select theaters in 2021, but earnings have not been announced.
The theatrical release may also appease some employees at Apple who want to see their work on the big screen. Apple TV+ currently has 20-40 million users, much lower than Netflix.
After rumors of Apple investing $1 billion a year in theatrical release of Apple’s movies surfaced, cinema shares skyrocketed on March 23, CNBC reported.
Not only Apple, a big technology company, Amazon, is also investing heavily in the movie industry. In 2022, the company acquired Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio behind the hit James Bond series, for $8.5 billion, aiming to produce 12-15 theatrical films per year.
Meanwhile, rival Netflix wants to release movies at the same time at the box office and online platform. The major cinema chains are said to have rejected the offer. Compared to Apple or Amazon, Netflix spends more money producing movies.