Streamers are slowly coming around in supplying viewing results, especially when the news is good. Apple has some good news.
The December 15 premiere of the Mark Wahlberg-starrer The Family Planon Apple TV+ debuted as the most viewed movie ever for the service, and now stands as the most viewed movie in Apple TV+ history, per insiders.
The Jennifer Aniston–Reese WitherspoonThe Morning Showis the service’s series record holder after its new season that began in September saw audience increases by 20% over its second season, powered by growth in the U.S., and Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, France and India.
The combination of those, Brie Larson’s Lessons in Chemistry, Messi Meets America, Gary Oldman’s Slow Horses, Ron Moore’s For All Mankind, along with this year’s Rebecca Ferguson-starrer Silo, Idris Elba’s Hijack, Sharon Horgan’s Bad Sisters and Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso, put Apple TV+’s viewership up by 42% year over year in 2023, in over 100 countries. The service doubled the total hours consumed, in year over year comparison.
Sony meanwhile just prevailed in a hotly contested auction for theatrical distribution deals for two substantial Apple Original Film efforts. Sony will do full theatrical releases on the Jon Watts-directed George Clooney and Brad Pitt feature Wolfs (they are already talking sequel on that one), and the Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum pic Project Artemis. It is becoming clear that on big-ticket pictures, product-starved theaters are good places to start, and with studios helping out on the P&A spend, these properties are more valuable when they do make it to the streaming service. Ridley Scott’s Napoleon surging toward $200 million is an eye-opener. The film cost about that much to make and the theatrical splits and distribution fees to Sony don’t cover the budget. But it defrays those costs and doesn’t harm the product when it becomes a big offering on Apple TV+.
The next studio auction will come on the untitled Formula One film that Joseph Kosinski is directing with Brad Pitt starring in the vehicle and Jerry Bruckheimer producing. That one is revving up again after being shut down for the strike. There’s still enough Formula One races in the season for Kosinski to get the crowd-filled action shots that are needed.