Apple spending up to $30 million per film to make Oscar-worthy Apple TV+ content, considering acquiring a library of content

Alexandra Steigrad for The New York Post:

Apple has been busy with a new project: financing six small-budget movies a year with an eye toward stories that could win Academy Awards, sources have told The Post.

Hollywood sources say the tech giant has been approaching “elevated” directors and other film talent in recent months to talk about bankrolling projects with Oscar-winning potential.

Apple is looking to spend $5 million to $30 million per project, sources said, adding that the company is being driven by Netflix’s recent spate of Oscar nominations and win for Best Foreign Film with “Roma” — legitimizing Netflix head Reed Hastings’ standing in Hollywood…

The source said Apple’s search for six small-budget films is not related to its multiyear agreement, signed in November, to make movies with A24, the studio behind 2017 Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight.” That deal has already led to plans for a film directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray and Rashida Jones.

Unlike Disney, which also plans to launch a new streaming service this year, Apple lacks a library of content that consumers can riffle through when they are done watching the new stuff — and has been internally debating whether to acquire one, a well-placed source said. “They are literally anxious and clueless about what they really want to do,” the source said. “Half the culture hates them making content, and the other half wants to meet stars.” “It’s a content arms race,” according to [Dan Ives, an analyst from Wedbush Securities], who said he expects Apple will ultimately stop the hand-wringing and just buy a library from Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, MGM or A24.

MacDailyNews Take: As we reported exclusively back in April, a major Apple acquisition looms. Our source said, “people will be shocked” and said source’s tune has not changed regarding this. “It’s only a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if,’;” our source told us today.

6 Comments

  1. It’s 2019 and Apple is debating acquiring a film and television catalogue. Is content a part of Apple’s. future, or not? They should have figured this out years ago. Either they’re the aggregator (and no one in television wanted to play with them, so far as we can tell, due to their dominance of the music industry) or you have to go your own way. We saw this coming a decade ago.

  2. Apple will bleed cash trying to take on the likes of Amazon and Netflix. making great content takes time and a LOT of money, one has to wonder how deep are Apple’s pockets, because the entertainment industry has a very full cemetery.

      1. The difference with Apple is that their service is less generally available vs their competitors. The majority of their audience are Apple device owners. Unless they are able to make Apple TV+ a more generally available and competitively priced service they will remain ‘niche’ also restricting their chances for getting any awards let alone recouping the investment in content they made.

    1. Wonder how much that will cost now that Disney has control of Fox, Star Wars franchise, majority of Marvel, controlling stake in Hulu and all their own legacy content including Pixar titles.

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