Ankler reports ‘specific and staggering details’ on Apple’s ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ film

Apple Original Film’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” was among film winners are the 39th Artios Awards.

The Ankler is reporting the specific and fairly staggering details of the deal Apple made with Paramount to distribute Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, according to a source familiar with the financials who leaked them to Peter Kiefer. 

Back in 2020, it looks like Paramount was able to negotiate quite well for itself when it handed over the reins of Killers of the Flower Moon while staying on as the film’s distributor. Kiefer’s told executives at Paramount Pictures, then overseen by Jim Gianopulos, negotiated a 12.5 percent distribution fee, which by industry standards is on the higher side (though ‘rent-a-studio’ distribution deals can run anywhere from eight to 20 percent at the highest end). But Paramount also negotiated a $10 million lump sum as an “advance” against those distribution fees, which is unusual.

Recall that before they both entered into overall deals with Apple in 2020, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions had overall deals with Paramount, which ended in 2019. Those deals provided Paramount with some key negotiating leverage. 

Not only was Paramount able to recoup 100 percent of its development costs on the film, which The Ankler’s source pegged at around $4.5 million, it was also able to recoup all the fees and costs related to Scorsese’s overall deal which, according to the tipster, was around $8.5 million, and included what was characterized as “advances” to Scorsese – money loaned out early by Paramount to Scorsese on his deal (a source close to Apple strongly denies this. 

“It’s flat out wrong,” said the source who also disputes the $8.5 million figure, saying that Scorsese had less than $3 million left on his deal with Paramount which Apple did not absorb). Apple also picked up the P&A on the film (P&A stands for ‘prints and advertising’ and includes the cost of distributing physical copies of a film to exhibitors plus the promotional activity surrounding a film, like advertising on TV or in print or digital publications). 

“Apparently, the guys at Apple are still smarting over it,” says a source with knowledge of the deal, “because their side was not good negotiators. Have heard they mention getting handled every time they talk to Paramount.”     

You can read the full article here

“Killers of the Flower Moon” had a big opening with $21 million in 63 offshore markets and No. 1s in 24 of those, including France, Germany, Australia, Spain, Netherlands and Switzerland. 

The global bow, factoring in its strong domestic opening, was $44 million. Deadline says that’s “great for a period movie with a long running time and at a moment when talent could not promote it due to the actors strike.”


Following its global theatrical run, the film will debut on Apple TV+. Starring a cast led by Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro the film premiered earlier this year at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, where it was met with broad critical acclaim and an extended standing ovation.

The wide theatrical release of “Killers of the Flower Moon” will also include IMAX theaters, for which the film will be digitally remastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR (Digital Remastering) technology. 

Directed by Martin Scorsese and written for the screen by Eric Roth and Scorsese, based on David Grann’s bestselling book of the same name, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. The film also stars Jesse Plemons, Cara Jade Myers, JaNae Collins, Jillian Dion and Tantoo Cardinal.

Hailing from Apple Studios, “Killers of the Flower Moon” was produced alongside Imperative Entertainment, Sikelia Productions and Appian Way. Producers are Scorsese, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas and Daniel Lupi, with DiCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer and Niels Juul serving as executive producers.

About Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. 

For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free. For more information, visit and see the full list of supported devices

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.