Apple Inc is planning to show feature-length films in theatres before releasing them on its streaming TV service. The company has made overtures to cinema chains and consulted with an entertainment executive as it pursues a traditional theatrical-release plan that would keep its movies in theaters for weeks before becoming available on Apple TV+, these people said. By reaching out to theater-industry representatives now and releasing films early, Apple is hoping to attract big-name directors and producers and avoid some of the tension created by another Hollywood newcomer, Netflix Inc..
Apple plans to launch its streaming service called Apple TV+ on November 1 for $5 a month (Rs 99 in India) to compete with rivals such as Netflix Inc and Walt Disney’s upcoming streaming offering, Disney+. Both the rivals have deeper libraries and years of experience in making hit shows. Among Apple’s first major theatrical releases is Sofia Coppola’s “On the Rocks,” which stars Rashida Jones as a young woman reconnecting with her eccentric father, to be played by Bill Murray.
“On the Rocks” is being produced through Apple’s partnership with A24, an independent film production company known for such art-house releases as the best-picture winner “Moonlight” and “Hereditary.” Apple has pitched itself as a place where artists can share their stories with the world, putting pressure on it to define a theatrical-release plan for producers and directors, said agents and Hollywood advisers. They said a strategy would help the company woo content creators who still want to see their work on the big screen and be taken more seriously as a player in film.
Apple’s push into Hollywood has created challenges for established players. On the day it announced its TV+ pricing, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger resigned as a director on Apple’s board to avoid any potential conflicts as the companies increasingly compete.