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Apple lands Brad Pitt film with exclusive theatrical run

Tim Baysinger
Jun 8, 2022
Illustration of a film strip with one hundred dollar bills in each frame
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Apple acquired Brad Pitt's new Formula 1 film in a deal that includes an exclusive theatrical run and backend pay for the filmmakers, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Why it matters: This type of deal could alter how streaming services and movie theaters operate alongside each other.

Details: The deal made between Apple and CAA — which represents Pitt and the film's director Joseph Kosinski — more closely resembles traditional studio agreements with filmmakers.

  • Rather than a limited run in theaters or a day-and-date release, Apple agreed to a wide release with an exclusive 30-day window, according to THR.
  • Apple will split its box office revenue with the filmmakers as well as pay them their buyout fees.

💭 Tim's thought bubble: Since movies make most of their money within that 30-day window anyway, this type of deal could look very lucrative to other filmmakers.

The big picture: Streaming services and movie theaters have been on opposing sides. Studios are trying to figure out the best way to grow their streaming business while not ignoring the resurgent box office.

  • Movies are spending less time than ever in theaters, particularly from studios with in-house streaming services. Only a few, like Sony and other independent distributors, stick to a more traditional 90-day run.
  • Studios like Disney and Warner Bros. are leaving as much as $38 million on the table in favor of using those movies to grab subscribers to Disney+ or HBO Max.
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