Oscars may see change that could ding streaming services like Apple TV+, Netflix

Apple isn’t going to like this: the Oscars are poised to enact one of the most significant rules changes in the Academy’s recent history, potentially adding a new theatrical distribution requirement for films to be eligible for best picture, according to Puck News

The article says that, according to a plan that is said to be supported by Academy CEO Bill Kramer, and which must still be approved by the 54-member board of governors at its meeting in late April, films will need to play in theaters in 15 or 20 of the top 50 markets in the U.S. to be eligible. That would hurt streaming services such as Apple TV+ and Netflix.

Currently, to be eligible for Academy Award consideration, a movie must be first shown in theaters, ahead of any streaming, and stay there for at least a week. However, streaming services can put the film out online at the same time as playing in theaters.

However, Apple could manage to overcome such a rule change. According to a March 23 Bloomberg report, Apple plans to spend US$1 billion a year to produce movies that will be released in theaters. Quoting unnamed “people familiar with the company’s plans,” the article says is is “part of an ambitious effort to raise its profile in Hollywood and lure subscribers to its Apple TV+ streaming service.

Bloomberg says Apple has approached movie studios about partnering to release a few titles in theaters this year and a whole bunch of more films in the future. The list of potential releases includes Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio; the spy thriller Argylle, from director Matthew Vaughn; and Napoleon, Ridley Scott’s drama about the French conqueror. 

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.