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Apple to Spend $1 Billion a Year on Films to Break Into Cinemas

Tech giant is committing to multiple theatrical releases!

Apple Inc. plans to spend $1 billion a year to produce movies that will be released in theaters, according to people familiar with the company’s plans, part of an ambitious effort to raise its profile in Hollywood and lure subscribers to its streaming service.

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Apple has approached movie studios about partnering to release a few titles in theaters this year and a slate of more films in the future, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

The list of potential releases includes Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio; the spy thriller Argylle, from director Matthew Vaughn; and Napoleon, Ridley Scott’s drama about the French conqueror. A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment.

The investment is a significant increase from years past. Most of Apple’s previous original movies have either been exclusive to the streaming service or released in a limited number of theaters. The company has pledged to put movies in thousands of theaters for at least a month, said the people, though it hasn’t finalized any plans.

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.

If the company is going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a Scorsese movie, it wants to turn that into a cultural event. Apple TV+ is estimated to have between 20 million and 40 million subscribers, fewer than rivals such as Netflix and Disney+.

Image: Apple