Apple Sets Theatrical Release Dates For Three Original Projects | Film News
Apple TV+ is trying to emulate the success of Netflix, and to do so, the company is taking a page out of the book of the streaming giant. They will give their original films a brief theatrical window – something Netflix didn’t do until recently – in the hopes of garnering awards success.
Sources said Apple has also been crafting the strategy with former IMAX head Greg Foster, who has been one of many consultants ushering them into the content space. The company has also made significant contact with American cinema chains to express their desire for a productive and fruitful relationship.
But while their strategy is similar, a source told Variety that Apple’s pitch to American theatre chains could be summed up as: “We don’t want to be Netflix”. Where Netflix has developed a contentious relationship with cinemas around the world thanks to their former release strategies, Apple is hoping for a softer approach.
The first Apple TV+ title to hit cinemas will be The Elephant Queen on Friday, October 18. Award-winning wildlife documentarians Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble direct, with narration from Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor. The documentary revolves around Athena, an elephant matriarch who fights to save her family when they are forced to leave their watering hole. It will hit Apple TV+ shortly after in November.
Following that will be The Banker starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson. The duo play unlikely real estate and finance moguls in the Jim Crow era who back-channeled their way to real estate holdings and bank ownership that allowed their communities to flourish under rampant systemic racism. That hits cinemas Friday, December 6 before streaming in January.
And finally, Sundance breakout Hala will open on Friday, November 22 before coming to Apple a month or so later. Minhal Baig directs the film about a Muslim teenager finding herself torn between old and new worlds in the suburbs of Chicago.
Apple’s plan is reportedly to offer cinemas more commercial fair compared to Netflix and Amazon’s awards-heavy films that hit cinemas. They’re apparently planning a big push for Sofia Coppola‘s 2020 film On The Rocks, which stars Bill Murray and could be a bit of a hit. We’ll wait and see how these films perform first. One thing is for sure, the landscape of streaming and movies is changing drastically.