Apple is the latest streaming company to realize that theaters can actually be very useful. The company confirmed the theatrical release of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, following a Report last Wednesday. Paramount Pictures and Apple will be releasing the movie with a limited theatrical release. The film will then open widely on October 20th. Apple TV Plus has yet to receive a release date. Apple’s press site currently lists the device as “coming soon.”
Killers of the Flower Moon was another major win for Apple. already has the Best Picture Oscar, and clearly has high hopes for. Scorsese directs the movie, which is based upon the novel by David Grann. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. It takes place in Oklahoma in 1920s and portrays the serial murder of Osage Nation members, an act that led to the Reign of Terror.
Another trend is the release strategy for Killers on the Flower Moon. Netflix and Apple have done the opposite. While Disney had to find a way to incorporate streaming into their theatrical blockbuster releases, Netflix and Apple have been doing it in a steady fashion. Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery was released last year just a month before streaming. Although small theatrical runs are important for award consideration, they can also be useful in building buzz, which is something that streaming movies often struggle with.
In spring 2020, Scorsese signed a multi-year agreement with Apple that included both film and television productions. The exact terms of the Killers deal are not known. However, Killers has a budget exceeding $180 million. The agreement was made just months after The Irishman received a large audience but did not win any Oscars.
It’s not a new strategy to release a movie first in theaters. It’s not a new strategy to release a movie in theaters first before it can be considered for industry awards such as the Oscars. This is because streaming giants like Netflix , Amazon, and Apple are eager to get the attention they bring. For example, Apple’s CODA streamer was the first to win a Best Picture Oscar . Apple is still a new company, but the company is willing to invest in A-list talent to possibly win some statuettes and increase its reputation in Hollywood.