Apple’s deal with Skydance to create new content on Apple TV+ could be one of the film industry’s costliest partnerships.
In January, Apple and Skydance signed a multi-year deal to produce several original films to stream on Apple TV+.
According to Variety, the partnership is akin to a “put deal”, an increasingly rare deal in Hollywood involving a content distributor like Apple TV+ obliged to distribute the films of its partner’s choice.
Moreover, such an agreement is very profitable for Skydance, especially since similar cases have very rarely occurred in recent years. Under the terms of this collaboration, Skydance will produce at least two fully funded films with budgets up to $125 million. The production company is also guaranteed compensation of at least $25 million per film, depending on budget thresholds. Finally, Skydance will retain copyright to the intellectual property it creates for Apple.
While the two companies will share revenue, Skydance-produced films may not be released in theaters as their availability will remain an Apple TV+ exclusive. In 2021, Apple and Skydance Animation also announced a partnership to work on a series of animated films.
Apple’s Matt Dentler, Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who also handled the Skydance deal, will work directly with the production company to make the films. Among other things, to reach this agreement, Apple had to win against competition from Netflix and Amazon Studios.