Apple may have some big films in the works. According to Bloomberg, anonymous sources say that a potential investment is underway, though the plans are yet to be finalized.
Normally, Apple’s original movies have either been exclusive to Apple TV+, or have received small theatrical releases, not exactly selling out tickets. Apple may partner with studios to produce more big titles in theaters, a plan that could cost them about $1 billion a year. This investment would be a hefty bill for the American computer and electronics company, and it would signal a major shift in their strategy, which originally didn’t prioritize big name titles and certainly didn’t push for theatrical movie releases.
Apple has reportedly declined to comment on the news.
Some possible future release, according to Bloomberg, would include Martin Scorses’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” and the spy film “Argylle.” Scorsese’s film may be exempt from a huge release, however, as Apple paid $200 million for the production rights from Paramount about two years ago. Instead, the film will be released in theaters worldwide under Paramount’s name, months before the title is set to exclusively premiere on Apple TV+.
If this plan is pushed forward, Apple would be put in close competition with other, large streaming services. Warner Bros. Discovery has recently publicly shared that they intend to release more original titles in theaters, mainly because releasing movies exclusively on HBO Max provides no value. Paramount and Disney also reportedly aim to prioritize the production of their own movies for theater release.
Typically, people who can’t make it to the theater premieres usually rely on the movie to appear on streaming services, which would help Apple if this potential investment were to happen. A theatrical release would likely bring more subscribers Apple’s way, as it would not only promote the film’s title, but also the streaming service it will appear on later.
The film industry, after several years of struggle, seems to be looking up again. The 2023 domestic box office is estimated to reach $9 billion this year.