Apple might release Apple TV+ original movies in cinemas before releasing them on its streaming service.
The company is considering traditional theatrical releases, according to The Wall Street Journal, meaning its films would appear in theatres for a 12-week period before they’re available to stream. Keep in mind Amazon Studios offers some theatrical releases for its award contenders. Manchester by the Sea, for instance, which earned Casey Affleck an Oscar for Actor, hit theatres for three months.
Amazon will also sometimes release a film for just a couple of weeks. Apple will now test this strategy, with a Sofia Coppola film, called On the Rocks, made in partnership with A24. It'll premiere around mid-2020, following a Cannes debut. The drama is about a daughter and father, played by Rashida Jones and Bill Murray, respectively, and it could put Apple in the running for an Oscar.
It's worth noting Netflix never treats its movies to a 12-week release, though it has released some films in cinemas for a limited time, such as the Oscar-winning Roma, which was out for 21 days. Netflix’s new The Irishman by Martin Scorcese also received a 21-day release. Scorsese had hoped a full national release, according to a report from The New York Times, but Netflix didn't agree.
So, it looks like Apple wouldn't be breaking any major ground by rolling out its original films to theatres, but it might be able to get more eyeballs and generate some trust with viewers, which could translate into Apple TV+ subscriptions and, ultimately, more revenue for the company.