| Cult of Mac

Apple TV+ pulls out of bidding war for Will Smith biopic after Oscars slap

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Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Apple TV+ drops its bid.
Photo: Apple TV+

Both Apple TV+ and Netflix pulled out of a bidding war over a movie about Will Smith’s life amid controversy following the actor slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

In addition, Apple TV+ owns a $120 million film starring Smith entitled Emancipation. Already shot and being readied for release in time for next Oscars season, the movie could become a problem for Apple TV+.

‘The Slap’ shows why Apple should shake up its events

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Will Smith slaps Chris Rock:
"The Slap" won the Oscars.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony shows why Apple should go back to doing live events.

No, not because we need to see deranged audience members assaulting Apple execs onstage. However, the mere possibility that something can go seriously sideways gives live events an undeniable advantage over the type of canned productions Apple began cranking out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’m sure this goes against Cupertino’s deeply ingrained cultural bias toward controlling absolutely everything within its power. But if Apple doesn’t get back to putting on live events, its product launches will drift deeper into the uncanny territory of the overproduced infomercial. That’s boring — and it’s bad for both Apple and Apple fans.

CODA helps Apple TV+ become first streaming service to bag an Oscar for Best Picture

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CODA wins big at the Oscars
CODA was a big hit at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ became the first streaming service to bag an Oscar for Best Picture, thanks to CODA‘s strong showing Sunday night at the Academy Awards. The movie won a trio of the prestigious awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor.

Troy Kotsur, who nabbed the latter of the three, also made history by becoming the first deaf man to pick up an Academy Award.

Odds of Apple TV+ film CODA winning Best Picture Oscar just increased

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Emilia Jones stars as a child of deaf adults (CODA) in the Apple TV+ film.
Emilia Jones stars as a child of deaf adults (CODA) in the Apple TV+ film.
Photo: Apple TV+

Taking the top film prize at Saturday’s Producers Guild of America (PGA) Awards puts Apple TV+ drama CODA in good stead to win the Best Picture prize at the upcoming Academy Awards. The prize the movie took has been a major predictor of Best Picture winners for decades.

Along with CODA’s win at the PGA Awards, the hit Apple TV+ comedy series Ted Lasso took home a prize.

Apple TV+ will screen indie hit CODA in theaters for free

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CODA will show for free in theaters from Friday, February 25 through 27.
CODA will show for free in theaters from Friday, February 25 through 27.
Photo: Apple TV+

In celebration of CODA‘s Oscar nomination for Best Picture, Apple TV+ said Friday it will celebrate by re-releasing the indie hit in theaters next weekend. And you’ll be able to watch it for free.

You can see the film for free in theaters from Friday, February 25 to Sunday, February 27.

Denzel Washington and CODA pick up big Oscar noms for Apple TV+

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Denzel Washington and ‘CODA’ pick up big Oscar noms for Apple TV+
Denzel Washington is up for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Tragedy of Macbeth, now streaming on Apple TV+.
Photo: Apple TV+

The nominations are out for the 94th Academy Awards, and Apple TV+ films are up for six Oscars. Two movies from Apple’s streaming service attracted the attention of the Academy: CODA and The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Both films have already garnered a bevy of awards and nomimations.

Apple chases Oscars with slate of original movies

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Hollywood sign
Apple has big plans for Hollywood.
Photo: Tom Benson/Flickr CC

Apple’s followed Netflix into developing its own original TV shows. Now it wants to follow it by making its own movies, too.

According to a new report, Apple plans to finance six original small-budget movies per year. Each project would be made for $5 million to $30 million, which is pretty much a micro-budget by Hollywood standards. However, Apple wants to appeal to prestige talent with the goal of making Oscar-winning movies.

iPad magician wows Oscars crowd

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Simon Pierro
The iPad magician liked this woman's outfit, so he gave her an Oscar out of his iPad.
Photo: Simon Pierro/YouTube

Simon Pierro presented an Oscar for a new category: best reaction to a magician pulling an actual golden statuette from an iPad.

Pierro, who travels the world as the iPad magician, capitalized on the buzz leading up to Sunday’s Academy Awards by strolling the Walk of Fame performing tricks for dumbfounded onlookers.

HBO plans to pull its shows off Amazon Prime next year

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You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
You'll have to subscribe to HBO Now to see Game of Thrones.
Photo: HBO

The battle for video streaming supremacy is already turning allies into rivals.

After making some of its best shows available on Amazon Prime since 2014, HBO revealed today that it does not plan to renew its licensing pact with Amazon once it expires next year.