But “strong reviews and Mr. DiCaprio’s own box office history – especially with Mr. Scorsese – provide a fair amount of goodwill for audiences,” he said, and work in the film’s favor. “There hasn’t been a high-profile adult-oriented film on the market for quite some time.” (“Oppenheimer”, with a similar time period and equally serious subject matter, defied the odds this year and grossed $942 million worldwide.)
While Apple has said little about its change in strategy, theater owners are happy.
Michael O’Leary, president of the National Association of America, said, “Apple is a major company with the ability to make a lot of high-quality work, and I think this recognition on their part that movies belong in theaters is a strong signal. ” The trade association, Theater Owners, said in an interview. “Prioritizing theatrical will help them attract major filmmakers to their tent, and create even more dynamic, entertaining fare in the years to come.”
Mr. Scorsese and his co-writer, Eric Roth, began an adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction book “Killers of the Flower Moon” in 2017. Paramount agreed to finance and distribute the film, but when production costs escalated, the studio brought Apple on board. 2020 to finance the project.
Other people wanted it, said Mr. Thomas, who initially bought the adaptation rights to “Killers” with his partner, Dan Friedkin. It was Apple, however, that guaranteed a full theatrical release — a must for Mr. Scorsese, whose last film for Netflix, “The Irishman,” had a low showing in theaters.
Paramount stuck to a deal in which Apple reimbursed the studio for the film’s development costs and a portion of Mr. Scorsese’s overall deal, two people with knowledge of the deal said on condition of anonymity because the details read: Were. not public. Paramount controls all theater bookings and media buying for the film’s trailers and commercials, while Apple controls its promotional and marketing materials.