Apple is the most recent streaming service to realize theatres have their uses. Company officials have confirmed that Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon will have a wide theatrical release, as was reported by Bloomberg last week. Apple and Paramount Pictures have collaborated to bring you a limited release of the film in theatres on October 6, followed by a wide release on October 20. The company has not announced when Apple TV Plus will be available. According to Apple’s newsroom, it’s “coming soon.”
Apple, with its one Best Picture Oscar and obvious aspirations for more, has scored a major coup with the acquisition of Killers of the Flower Moon. The movie, which is adapted from a novel by David Grann, features Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion, and Tantoo Cardinal, and is directed by Martin Scorsese. It’s “about the brutal murder of members of the oil-rich Osage Nation in Oklahoma during the 1920s, a period that became known as the Reign of Terror.”
Killers of the Flower Moon’s release strategy is also part of a general pattern. Netflix and now Apple has been releasing their content exclusively online, while Disney has had to figure out how to incorporate streaming into its release strategy full of theatrical blockbusters. In 2016, for example, a month or so before it was made available on streaming, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery had a limited theatrical release. Awards consideration has traditionally been based on limited runs, but a wide theatrical release can be a useful tool for creating buzz, which is something that streaming movies still often lack.