Apple’s Movie Release Plan Boosts Shares of Movie Theaters Like AMC

Spectators line up at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square box office on March 5, 2021 in New York City.

Michael Loccisano | Getty Images

Movie theater stocks jumped on Thursday after the release of the report Apple plans to spend $1 billion a year to release films in theaters.

The investment is part of the tech company’s efforts to raise its profile in Hollywood and attract subscribers to its Apple TV+ streaming service. Bloomberg reportedwith reference to people familiar with the matter.

Typically, Apple releases movies directly on its streaming platform, or allows limited releases in a small number of theaters to qualify for an Academy Award. Apple recently won the best film award for its film CODA.

The commitment to longer film releases is the company’s way of appeasing talent who want their projects on the big screen and raising awareness for its streaming platform, which is estimated to have between 20 and 40 million users, far fewer than rivals. Netflix And Disney+.

Cinemark jumped 10% on the news, while IMAX and AMC rose about 4% and 5% respectively.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon made a similar commitment last November, promising to release 12 to 15 movies to theaters each year.

A Bloomberg report indicated that Martin Scorsese’s crime thriller The Flower Moon Killers, Matthew Vaughn’s spy film Argyle, and Ridley Scott’s historical epic Napoleon are on the shortlist of these longer theatrical runs. Plans are yet to be confirmed, but these releases could stay in theaters for at least a month. Last year, Apple TV+ became the first streaming service to win the Academy Award for Best Picture with Coda.

Since the pandemic, distributors have reduced the theatrical release window to 45 days from about 90 days. Some studios have agreements with theater chains that allow for cut runs based on ticket sales. Then there are others like Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun: Maverick, which remained in theaters long after the 45-day time frame.

Already, 2023 is expected to be a better year for domestic releases as production levels bounce back in 2022, but rumors of additional Apple film commitments are giving the industry another boost of confidence.

– Keith Leswing of CNBC contributed to this report.

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