Apple has invested heavily in Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” With production costs reportedly between $200 million and $250 million, including a $25 million payout to Leonardo DiCaprio, the tech giant — now worth roughly $3 trillion — is making a bold move into the film industry.
Behind the scenes of Apple’s film strategy
Apple’s collaboration with Paramount, announced in 2020, initially estimated the film’s production costs would be between $180 million and $200 million. However, recent figures reported by Bloomberg suggest a rise to as much as $250 million. The film, starring DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone, recounts the murders in the Osage Nation after oil discovery. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and will hit theaters on Oct. 20.
Apple’s film strategy is unique. They’ve financed movies like “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon,” and Matthew Vaughn’s “Argylle” based on a hybrid release model. These films, branded as Apple Originals Films, see a theater release first — with an Apple TV+ release only after a 45-day window.
This approach is a gamble. The risk is that viewers might choose the immediate theater experience over waiting for an Apple TV+ release. However, Apple’s intent is clear: attract top directors who prioritize cinema releases. By doing so, Apple hopes to convert theater-goers into Apple TV+ subscribers.
In the competitive film industry, Apple’s strategy aims to establish its presence, even if it means short-term financial setbacks.