Following 'Greyhound' success, Apple eyes more blockbuster-style films

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple may be preparing to release upwards of a dozen feature-length movies a year to Apple TV+, according to sources familiar with the situation.




This new strategy comes after the success of Tom Hanks' Greyhound, a World War II drama that follows Hanks' character as he convoys dozens of ships across the North Atlantic.

Of the twelve movies a year, up to four would be comparable to Greyhound in scale, according Fast Company's sources. Another source said Apple has begun searching Hollywood for tentpole film projects.

At launch, Apple TV+'s strategy was to capture the prestige TV crowd by releasing its own straight-to-screen series like "See", "The Morning Show", and "Dickinson."

While Apple's strategy has included movies from the beginning, it often chose to highlight smaller, more intimate pieces, like "Hala."

A pivot to producing blockbusters, while somewhat risky, could help draw in more subscribers. While Apple doesn't release official viewing numbers, it was suspected that "Greyhound" 's opening weekend rivaled that of a traditional summer box office hit. Additionally, 30% of viewers who watched "Greyhound" were first time Apple TV+ subscribers.

With the ongoing pandemic, Apple will likely have the opportunity to pick up more movies that won't be seeing a traditional theater release. However, the company will likely follow its prestige motto, only picking up titles that fit its highly curated catalog.

"They don't want to be Costco," a source told Fast Company. "They want to be very curated."

Without a backlog of content, similar to how Disney+ subscribers can access Disney's entire movie library, Apple's willingness to adapt is critical. The move to host twelve films a year may help to bolster its subscriber count.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 921member
    So how do we know it was a success without any trusted metrics?

    I know many people who qualify for the free year of Apple TV+ and almost nobody uses it.
    I qualify by multiple devices and do not see much of anything worth watching.

    edited July 2020 tomowaflyingdpchemengin1williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 18
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 868member
    davgreg said:

    I qualify by multiple devices and do not see much of anything worth watching.

    Then it’s your loss. 
    JWSCwilliamlondonRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    If Apple wants to be very picky about what they make and show, then they should buy or get a long term exclusive to carry the movie library from Criterion or TCM. Frankly, Apple’s own series tend to suffer from Left-Progressive politics syndrome.
    tomowachemengin1williamlondonBeatsmobirdwilliamhrossb2
  • Reply 4 of 18
    davgreg said:
    So how do we know it was a success without any trusted metrics?

    I know many people who qualify for the free year of Apple TV+ and almost nobody uses it.
    I qualify by multiple devices and do not see much of anything worth watching.

    We don’t know for sure (same problem with Netflix, which also doesn’t report viewership).

    But your concept that you don’t know anyone who saw Greyhound, therefore nobody saw it, is as foolish as it sounds. There are 1.4 billion iOS devices around the world, many of which have access to Apple TV+ in the nation of the owner. If half have access to ATV+, then that is 700M devices. If 5% of those devices watched Greyhound, that would be 35M views. Given a subject matter which crosses international boundaries (war and action movies) and a global star in Hanks, interest would figure to be high.

    If movie tickets ballpark for $10 each, a $200M opening is 20M tickets sold.

    Even if you don’t know anyone who saw it, the numbers are quite plausible.
    JWSCwilliamlondonBeatsRayz2016rossb2watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    davgreg said:

    I qualify by multiple devices and do not see much of anything worth watching.



    You can only redeem one free year so the amount of qualifying devices you have really doesn’t matter. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 1,102member
    If Apple wants to be very picky about what they make and show, then they should buy or get a long term exclusive to carry the movie library from Criterion or TCM. Frankly, Apple’s own series tend to suffer from Left-Progressive politics syndrome.
    The "Left-Progressive politics" of Greyhound? Or are you still complaining that Apple made a movie around successful African-American businessmen in the 1960s when the US was doing everything it could to keep communities of color from thriving? It's sad that you see equality and fair treatment of others in such a poor light.
    williamlondonJinTechwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,634member
    Xed said:
    If Apple wants to be very picky about what they make and show, then they should buy or get a long term exclusive to carry the movie library from Criterion or TCM. Frankly, Apple’s own series tend to suffer from Left-Progressive politics syndrome.
    The "Left-Progressive politics" of Greyhound? Or are you still complaining that Apple made a movie around successful African-American businessmen in the 1960s when the US was doing everything it could to keep communities of color from thriving? It's sad that you see equality and fair treatment of others in such a poor light.

    THAT movie was nice. Poster may be talking about anti-male propaganda instead of race, which most people who criticize the left complain about. 
  • Reply 8 of 18
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,634member
    I wonder how Greyhound rivals other streaming hit movies?

    If more hit movies gets people talking about TV+, good. It's still not too Kate to change the name btw. :wink: 
  • Reply 9 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 1,102member
    Beats said:
    I wonder how Greyhound rivals other streaming hit movies? 
    Too many other distributors are shelving films until the pandemic is over. I'm not sure that's going to work out. With this administration continually finding new ways to cause this pandemic to spread the movie theaters will not be opening up again soon. Their "don't hurt the economy" myopia caused has caused considerably more and continued damage to the economy. How long will they let Tenant sit waiting for a theatrical release before they want to make some money on it? I'm not sure that the movie theater business will ever be the same again. If this had happened a couple decades earlie the theaters would've been be fine, but with today's streaming services, high speed internet, and high-quality A/V at a low cost the desire to get back into a movie theaters simply isn't as necessary as it used to be.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    dave marshdave marsh Posts: 337member
    I also feel no need to return to movie theaters.  I do enjoy our new downtown theater with the large reclining/heated seats, but will still only attend for a blockbuster film, and if that’s available online for streaming to my home I’ll definitely watch it there.  I have a 65” OLED 4K TV, 7.1 sound, 1Gb Internet access in my very comfortable living room.  We watched Greyhound with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    I’d strongly encourage movie companies reconsider their distribution options.  I suspect they’re missing out on a strong at home audience.  After watching Greyhound on AppleTV+ I checked iTunes to see if I could purchase it to add to my library, but it’s not available there.  They’re definitely leaving money on the table.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I also feel no need to return to movie theaters.  I do enjoy our new downtown theater with the large reclining/heated seats, but will still only attend for a blockbuster film, and if that’s available online for streaming to my home I’ll definitely watch it there.  I have a 65” OLED 4K TV, 7.1 sound, 1Gb Internet access in my very comfortable living room.  We watched Greyhound with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    I’d strongly encourage movie companies reconsider their distribution options.  I suspect they’re missing out on a strong at home audience.  After watching Greyhound on AppleTV+ I checked iTunes to see if I could purchase it to add to my library, but it’s not available there.  They’re definitely leaving money on the table.
    I think there will be a wave of bankruptcies for the theater chains soon and unfortunately, an even larger wave of bankruptcies for “normal people” too. Few people have a year’s worth of money in the bank to prevent their financial ruin.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    It was a good movie but it was historically unrealistic. At that point in World War II the Germans lost few U-Boats and were sinking allied ships faster than they could be built. The Germans had 10-1 ratio of subs lost to merchant ships in the first six months of 1942. In the movie the loses were almost 1-1 (6 U-Boats to 7 merchant ships). The movie would have been more dramatic if it had reflected just how bad the situation really was.
    williamhwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 810member
    Xed said:
    If Apple wants to be very picky about what they make and show, then they should buy or get a long term exclusive to carry the movie library from Criterion or TCM. Frankly, Apple’s own series tend to suffer from Left-Progressive politics syndrome.
    The "Left-Progressive politics" of Greyhound? Or are you still complaining that Apple made a movie around successful African-American businessmen in the 1960s when the US was doing everything it could to keep communities of color from thriving? It's sad that you see equality and fair treatment of others in such a poor light.
    I thought The Banker was great.  Greyhound was very good.  The Beastie Boys story was good. Other than that, not much I want to see.  Perhaps the "left-progressive politics" of the AppleTV curators results in a fairly boring catalog. Or perhaps it's just a service that hasn't really hit its stride yet and will turn out great.

    AppleTV Plus for free is nice. I wouldn't subscribe to see something interesting every few months. Offering AppleTV Plus for free to generate an audience while Apple works out the content was a great idea.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    rain22rain22 Posts: 132member
    Xed said:
    Beats said:
    I wonder how Greyhound rivals other streaming hit movies? 
    Too many other distributors are shelving films until the pandemic is over. I'm not sure that's going to work out. With this administration continually finding new ways to cause this pandemic to spread the movie theaters will not be opening up again soon. Their "don't hurt the economy" myopia caused has caused considerably more and continued damage to the economy. How long will they let Tenant sit waiting for a theatrical release before they want to make some money on it? I'm not sure that the movie theater business will ever be the same again. If this had happened a couple decades earlie the theaters would've been be fine, but with today's streaming services, high speed internet, and high-quality A/V at a low cost the desire to get back into a movie theaters simply isn't as necessary as it used to be.
    So I’m Canadian and understand how your government works on federal and state levels a lot better than you do - or you’re just naive? 
    Please explain what policies the Feds should have taken within their jurisdiction that they didn’t? 
    Do you even know what is State and Fed jurisdiction? Do you know what jurisdiction means? 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 1,102member
    rain22 said:
    Xed said:
    Beats said:
    I wonder how Greyhound rivals other streaming hit movies? 
    Too many other distributors are shelving films until the pandemic is over. I'm not sure that's going to work out. With this administration continually finding new ways to cause this pandemic to spread the movie theaters will not be opening up again soon. Their "don't hurt the economy" myopia caused has caused considerably more and continued damage to the economy. How long will they let Tenant sit waiting for a theatrical release before they want to make some money on it? I'm not sure that the movie theater business will ever be the same again. If this had happened a couple decades earlie the theaters would've been be fine, but with today's streaming services, high speed internet, and high-quality A/V at a low cost the desire to get back into a movie theaters simply isn't as necessary as it used to be.
    So I’m Canadian and understand how your government works on federal and state levels a lot better than you do - or you’re just naive? 
    Please explain what policies the Feds should have taken within their jurisdiction that they didn’t? 
    Do you even know what is State and Fed jurisdiction? Do you know what jurisdiction means? 
    You're just naive if you believe the US handled the pandemic well or had a single, unified message to help keep the virus from spreading.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/07/trumps-lies-about-coronavirus/608647/

    You're considerably more than naive if you think that shutting down certain aspects of the economy temporarily is a bad idea to protect the longterm health of the nation and to get the economy back to normal as quickly as possible. There were many nations that acted smart. Here's one you can look into.

    https://www.dw.com/en/jacinda-ardern-leadership-in-coronavirus-response/a-53733397
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    davgreg said:
    So how do we know it was a success without any trusted metrics?

    I know many people who qualify for the free year of Apple TV+ and almost nobody uses it.
    I qualify by multiple devices and do not see much of anything worth watching.

    We don’t know for sure (same problem with Netflix, which also doesn’t report viewership).

    But your concept that you don’t know anyone who saw Greyhound, therefore nobody saw it, is as foolish as it sounds. There are 1.4 billion iOS devices around the world, many of which have access to Apple TV+ in the nation of the owner. If half have access to ATV+, then that is 700M devices. If 5% of those devices watched Greyhound, that would be 35M views. Given a subject matter which crosses international boundaries (war and action movies) and a global star in Hanks, interest would figure to be high.

    If movie tickets ballpark for $10 each, a $200M opening is 20M tickets sold.

    Even if you don’t know anyone who saw it, the numbers are quite plausible.
    We watched it last night in fact. I got to say, in part it's pretty edge of seat stuff, especially the chasing down of the 'German 'wolf pack' U-Boats. The film launches in to action pretty much from around 5-6 minutes in and doesn't really let up until the last 5 minutes.

    I'm a very cynical and jaded viewer of movies and am forever picking holes in, continuity, costume (for period set movies, since my wife is a movie/theatre costume designer), ridiculous lighting and prop use, plus completely implausible and unrealistic scenes. Now I wouldn't say it's the best 'action' pic I've ever seen, but considering it's based on a true story, hats off to the screenwriters and actors. All of my cynic's red flags were dead on accurate for WWII and it was thoroughly enjoyable.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    It was a good movie but it was historically unrealistic. At that point in World War II the Germans lost few U-Boats and were sinking allied ships faster than they could be built. The Germans had 10-1 ratio of subs lost to merchant ships in the first six months of 1942. In the movie the loses were almost 1-1 (6 U-Boats to 7 merchant ships). The movie would have been more dramatic if it had reflected just how bad the situation really was.
    Spoiler alert, don't read if you haven't seen the movie:

    Very weird story all together. I found the Captain's actions in this movie ridiculous. Stopping protecting the ships in the convoy for a funeral?  Really?  Time and time again he showed very poor judgement. Who gives a damn if his feet bled, he hadn't eaten his sandwich or he was cold, poor baby? People were dying on ships all around due to his stupidity.   I honestly thought the movie would end with his court martial.
    edited July 2020
  • Reply 18 of 18
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 704member
    It was a good movie but it was historically unrealistic. At that point in World War II the Germans lost few U-Boats and were sinking allied ships faster than they could be built. The Germans had 10-1 ratio of subs lost to merchant ships in the first six months of 1942. In the movie the loses were almost 1-1 (6 U-Boats to 7 merchant ships). The movie would have been more dramatic if it had reflected just how bad the situation really was.
    Your ratio from the movie is incorrect.  At the end, Tom Hanks tells the Admiral they sank 4 U-Boats.  Still may not be an accurate ratio, but that made the Germans have a 7-4 ratio.
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