Apple Could Premiere Its Original Movies in Theater Weeks Ahead of Releasing Them on Apple TV+

Apple is reportedly looking to premiere some of the movies that it has produced for Apple TV+ in theaters before making it available on its streaming service.

The company is reportedly in preliminary talks about this with cinema chains and has also consulted with entertainment executives to follow a traditional theatrical-release plan for its movies. Apple is hoping to attract some big directors and producers with this move. This move will also help reduce the tension between Apple and cinema chains.

The efforts from Apple’s camp are being led by Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, with the company hiring Greg Foster, the former head of entertainment at IMAX Corp., as a consultant.

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. Apple is eyeing a mid-2020 release, perhaps following a premiere at a high-profile event such as the Cannes Film Festival, people familiar with the situation said.

Apple has also talked with movie theater representatives about a documentary called “The Elephant Queen,” which it plans to release this year. The documentary—about an elephant leading her herd across Africa—is slated to debut Nov. 1 on TV+ and also air in theaters so that it is eligible for awards consideration, according to people familiar with the plans.

Apple is not looking to release the movies produced by it in movie halls to earn money. Instead, it is doing it so as to create a brand name for itself which will then make it easier to attract renowned producers, actors, and directors for future shows. It will also ensure that shows produced by Apple are eligible for Oscar and other prestigious awards. This is because without a theatrical run, a movie cannot be eligible for awards.

The move could also help attract people to Apple TV+ which launches on November 1. for $4.99/month for a family plan. But then, there’s also the flip side to this that most users will not feel the need to subscribe to Apple TV+ if the company ends up releasing its movies in theaters.

[Via WSJ]