Apple is the latest streamer to discover that movie theaters are actually quite useful. Following A Bloomberg report last week, the company officially confirmed its first major theatrical release: Martin Scorsese The Moonflower Slayers. The film will premiere with a limited theatrical release on October 6 before opening widely on October 20, and Apple is teaming up with Paramount Pictures for the release. It does not yet have a release date for Apple TV Plus. (Apple’s press site currently lists it as “coming soon.”)
The Moonflower Slayers is another big advantage for Apple, which has already an Oscar for best picture And clearly has ambitions for more. As well as being directed by Scorsese, the film – which is based on David Grann’s novel – stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion and Tantoo Cardinal. . It is set “in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-rich Osage nation, a series of brutal crimes known as the Reign of Terror”.
The dissemination strategy of The Moonflower Slayers is also part of an ongoing trend. While Disney has had to figure out how to fit streaming into its theatrical blockbuster release strategy, Netflix, and now Apple, have done the opposite. Last year, for example, Glass onion: a mystery at loggerheads had a short tour of the theater about a month before it goes live. While smaller series have been important for awards consideration, a wide theatrical release can be a good tool for building buzz – something streaming movies still often struggle with.