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Apple to Seek Theater Deals for Original Movies Before Streaming

Apple plans to offer its feature-length movie productions extended theatrical releases before making them available on its streaming TV service.

By pursuing deals that might see major tasks screened for weeks in theaters, the iPhone maker hopes to make it simpler to draw big-name directors and producers, sources accustomed to the matter said.

Apple, a late participant to the streaming battle, plans to launch Apple TV+ on Nov. 1 for $5 a month to compete with competitors like Netflix and Walt Disney’s upcoming streaming offering, Disney+.

Both the competitors have deeper libraries and years of experience in making hit shows; however, they have taken varying approaches to how they launch content.

In 2018, Netflix started debuting original movies like “Roma,” “Bird Box” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” for limited runs in theaters, before bringing them on to the streaming service.

But it undoubtedly has struggled to meet the terms of theater chains, who would rather have movies like Martin Scorsese’s upcoming “The Irishman” be screened months before they’re launched online.

In a triumph for Netflix and other streaming providers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted this year not to change its guidelines to demand Oscar nominees must play in theaters for a minimum interval.

Apple is pouring $2 billion on original content this year; however, continues to be hindered by Netflix, which has a reported $10 billion budget for material and 151 million paid subscribers and major studios.

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