Competitive bidding underway for films previously set for worldwide release to theaters
Tom Hanks stars in the new Sony Pictures World War II drama, “Greyhound,” which was due for a theatrical release on June 12th. Like many other films meant to come out this summer, though, “Greyhound” has been derailed by the coronavirus and the worldwide shutdown of movie theaters. Thus, the film has been expedited to the streaming market and will now be available exclusively on Apple TV+.
Launched just last November, Apple TV+ has been an underdog in the streaming war so far. The affordable $4.99/month service met some early awards for its highly praised “The Morning Show” and has created a few shows starring major talent such as “Defending Jacob” with Chris Evans and “See” with Jason Mamoa. The platform has also done a few spinoff shows such as the children’s “Fraggle Rock: Rock On” and a revival of Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories.”
By-and-large, Apple TV+ has been committed to original content, opting to produce in-house series and movies rather than acquire outside titles. However, Apple TV+ does not have the vast libraries of Disney+, HBO Max, or NBCUniversal’s Peacock. It is a tech company that just entered the film and TV entertainment world and it must to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime, both of which have created more original series in recent years, but still rely heavily on mergers and acquisitions for variety.
Apple TV+ appears to have a long road ahead in order to gain significant foothold
While Apple’s closed-system quality-over-quantity approach to streaming is admirable, it’s not giving them any leg-up on their rivals. Hence, they are presently bending their own rules a bit, talking with bigger studios about licensing out additional content. The service allegedly paid Sony $70 million for “Greyhound” and according to Deadline, the site will treat the film as its biggest movie release yet.
The deal also works out for Sony. Unlike Disney, WarnerMedia, or NBCUniversal, Sony does not have its own streaming service, so allocating its property to Apple gives them a presence in the streaming world without selling out to one of their theatrical competitors. Of course, Sony would probably prefer to release “Greyhound” on the big screen, but the global pandemic has all but slaughtered that possibility.
Read More: New Trailer for Chris Nolan’s “Tenet”: WB stays true to Original Release Despite Coronavirus
During the coronavirus, all streaming sites have seen increases in activity. Apple TV+, like any of the other platforms, is profiting off of, but also vying for the attention of people stuck at home. Throwing a Sony-produced Tom Hanks war epic in the captive audience’s faces will certainly help the site’s cause.
Aaron Shneider directs “Greyhound,” and its narrative comes from a screenplay by C.S. Forester and Hanks himself. It follows the true story of an American navy ship crossing the Atlantic in the early days of World War II while being pursued by troves of enemy German U-Boats. Apple has not yet scheduled a release date for the film, but it will likely come out sometime this summer.
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