Apple is reportedly willing to spend a cool $1 billion annually in an attempt to get its movies into cinemas.
While the movies will continue to be available on the Apple TV Plus streaming service, it's thought that Apple also wants to build a presence in cinemas as a way to help it sell subscriptions as well.
It's said that the $1 billion budget is later than previously set aside for the project, with Apple thought to be keen to try and repeat its success with CODA — a movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2022. CODA was picked up from the Sundance Film Festival for a record $25 million before getting a limited theatrical release and streaming online.
All the big names
Bloomberg reports that Apple has already approached movie studios in an attempt to put together a partnership that would see a number of titles appear in cinemas this year alone. Some of those include big names in the entertainment space including Martin Scorsese and his Killers of the Flower Moon starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Ridley Scott's Napoleon is also thought to be in the running for a theatrical release.
However, Apple isn't thought to have been able to figure out how to distribute its movies in cinemas. "The company doesn’t have the expertise internally to release movies in thousands of cinemas worldwide at once, which is why it has approached third-party distributors," Bloomberg's report says. It adds that Apple needs to come up with a deal that will cover distribution fees and marketing budgets — such budgets can stretch to $100 million or more, the report adds.
While some Apple TV Plus movies have already made an appearance in cinemas, they only do so to ensure that they can be considered for awards. This new push appears to be a different approach that is instead all about trying to increase awareness of Apple's streaming service.
"While 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," the report adds.
Cinema release or not, viewers will still be able to watch the best movies on Apple TV Plus using just about any device with an internet connection. Those include streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and the best Apple TV to date — the Apple TV 4K.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.