Amazon and Apple are expected to go head on in pursuing the rights for the Bond franchise. A report that was published by the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the two tech giants will be competing for the distribution rights of this franchise moving forward. The two companies will have to fight out with Warner Bros, the current leader in the bid. Analysts argue that the entry of Apple and Amazon could potentially change how Hollywood distributes movies.
The distribution rights for the Bond movies expired in 2015 after Spectre. At the time, Sony had the distribution rights and will be looking to bid again this time round. Amazon and Apple will have to overcome the challenge of other seasoned companies in the entertainment business including Sony, Fox, and also Universal. It seems that Apple and Amazon are offering almost the same amount of money if not more than the required funds for the Bond movies distribution rights.
The report also noted that Apple’s charge to get the rights is being led by Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. The two were recently appointed TV and film executives for Apple. There is also a report that the smartphone maker is looking to get broader rights not just on the movie but also potential TV rights. Apple has already set aside about $1 billion that will be invested in original content starting from next year.
However, the rights for the Bond movies could be somewhere between $2 billion and $5 billion. Reports note that with such a huge investment, Apple will perhaps look to create a broader cinematic offering or universe surrounding the Bond character.
This is not a new strategy.
In fact, so far Disney has established such cinematic universes with characters from Marvel’s superheroes as well as Star Wars. But even with this plan, it should be remembered that there is no deal yet.
Apple is not among the frontrunners to get the rights for the franchise and the company will need to overcome bids from other 4-5 companies that are indeed major players in the movie business. It’s safe to assume that the deal may not go through but if it does, it could pave the way for a significant shift in movie distribution.
Experts argue though that even if Apple or Amazon don’t get the distribution rights directly from the film’s franchise owners, the two companies have the chance to strike deals with traditional film distribution companies to explore other licensing agreements.
What Apple is looking for is content for its streaming services and while the company would hope to land the distribution rights for the next Bond movies, there’s no doubt that other opportunities might arise if indeed this deal doesn’t go through.
However, it’s a great attempt, one that signals Apple’s and Amazon’s commitment to build a presence in the film and TV streaming business. We will have to wait and see how these negotiations will roll out in the coming days.