Apple intends to spend $1 billion a year to produce movies that will be shown in theaters, establishing itself as a serious player in Hollywood, Bloomberg reported. The technology giant has already approached film studios regarding partnership in films that will be released in the coming year and in the future.
Although the plans are still in the final formulation stage, the company wants to broadcast films in thousands of movie theaters for at least one month, and take advantage of the strategy of direct viewing of exclusive content and limited screenings.
According to the report, potential films to be screened include Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Matthew Vaughn’s “Argyle” and Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon.”
The report comes after Amazon, Apple’s competitor, formulated similar plans to invest $1 billion in producing 12-15 movies a year, as Bloomberg reported in November. Early last year, Amazon closed the deal to buy MGM for $8.5 billion.
The movie theaters, which are still trying to recover from the Corona era, have not yet returned to ticket sales at pre-pandemic levels. This is despite blockbuster films, such as “Avatar through the water” and “Creed III”. According to Comscore data, the local box offices brought in an amount of about 7.5 billion dollars last year, which represents an increase of about 70% compared to the previous year, but still 30% less than the amount before the epidemic. In North America total sales reached 11 billion dollars.
However, investments by companies such as Amazon and Apple may help the battered industry recover at a faster pace. “Comcast’s Universal spent about $1 billion a year in 2018-2019 on film production, bringing in about $1.6 billion at the domestic box office. This suggests that Apple and Amazon could each bring in about $1.5 billion in ticket sales, raising box office revenues by more than -20% to an estimated total of 8.3-8.5 billion dollars in 2023,” wrote Geeta Ranganathan, Bloomberg’s media analyst in response to the news.
Apple and Amazon’s plans increase their streaming and content investments, while cutting costs in other areas. Amazon only recently revealed its intention to lay off 9,000 workers, after already laying off 18,000 workers in January. According to Bloomberg, Apple has delayed product launches, declined bonuses and cut budgets to avoid layoffs.