Apple seems determined to stand up to the greats of Hollywood. 2023 is being a year of announcements in this sense, and ‘Napoleon’ has been the first and symbolic notice that the company is willing to take the task seriously: first-rate names and a spectacular finish for which, after its first trailer, it already materializes as one of the most anticipated films of the year.
1 billion a year. 1,000 million dollars a year is what Apple will invest in movies that it wants to take to theaters. The amount is not negligible, but I had already made similar bets: it is only 15% of what I already spent in total per year on Apple TV +. This is a very important investment that not only aims to conquer a space in clear financial decline (we refer to the box office data), but also to create a brand to attract big names.
big time Until now, the path followed by Apple’s most notorious movies was limited release in theaters and then moved to Apple TV + where they became big claims for the platform. This was the case with films like the prestigious ‘CODA’ (which grossed less than two million dollars) or the criminal drama with Tom Holland ‘Cherry’, which only lasted a couple of weeks in theaters.
Direct to rooms. But that is going to change with releases as powerful as the recent ‘Tetris’, this ‘Napoleon’ by Ridley Scott, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ by Martin Scorsese, the spy thriller ‘Argylle’, by Matthew Vaughn (‘Kingsman’ ) and a film starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt of which they began to speak Two years ago. And the truth is that having seen the trailer for ‘Napoleon’, these new films seem to be holding their own with the rest of theatrical releases: they are no longer just the names of Joaquin Phoenix and Ridley Scott, reunited after more than two decades that They date from ‘Gladiator’, but also because of the spectacularity and the visual invoice that it shows.
The Scorsese theme. Of these films, not all are Apple productions, which still lacks the financial muscle to face projects of this type alone. For example, ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ is an Apple production, but it has the collaboration of Paramount, which was to be its original producer. As reported by 9to5Mac, Apple bought the production rights and Paramount will remain as the film’s worldwide distributor. At the moment, it is out of the reach of Apple to take the production to tens of thousands of screens and convince millions of people to see it.
‘CODA’, the full stop. This new Apple strategy began to take shape with ‘CODA’, the story of the only hearing person in a deaf family, which won the Academy Awards in three categories, including Best Picture. It beat Netflix and its bet that year on its own ground, ‘the power of the dog‘, and was co-produced with France’s Vendôme Pictures and Pathé Films. Its impact at Sundance prompted Apple TV+ to pay a festival-wide record $25 million for its exclusive distribution.
Ten million so you know. ‘CODA’ has another milestone for indie cinema to its credit: the Sundance festival had never seen how a film premiered at the festival ended up taking the grand prize at the Oscars. Apple helped with the campaign for academics: according to ‘The Wall Street Journal‘, the company invested ten million dollars in the promotion, which would practically equal the total budget of the film.
The most expensive advertisement in the world. Some skeptical voices claim that there is something cynical about Apple’s invasion of theaters. It is a maneuver to bring into his fold directors nostalgic for the traditional experience, such as Scorsese, and incidentally trip Netflix. Lucas Shaw and Thomas Buckley, in Bloomberg, said that Apple “also sees theaters as a way to publicize its streaming. If the company is going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a Scorsese movie, they want to make it a cultural event.” Or put another way: it might be hard for these movies to recoup what they cost in theaters, but as Apple TV+ ads They are priceless.
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