January 23, 2022

At this time in Apple historical past: iTunes luggage its first unique film

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes film distribution, Purple Violets turns into the primary characteristic movie to launch completely on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With restricted presents from Hollywood’s conventional gamers, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution instead solution to get their film in entrance of viewers.

iTunes: A brand new solution to distribute films

Purple Violets debuted on the Tribeca Movie Competition in April 2007, incomes constructive critiques. Nonetheless, the producers acquired few first rate presents to distribute the $four million film. Consequently, director Burns — who put up among the cash to make the film — feared there can be “not sufficient cash to market the movie, not a wide-enough launch to even make a dent within the moviegoing public’s consciousness.”

Subsequently, the producers determined to bypass a conventional theatrical launch and make the film out there on iTunes. This made Purple Violets the primary characteristic movie to debut commercially on iTunes. The milestone got here two years after iTunes started offering downloadable video, and one yr after Disney turned the primary studio to supply its films for obtain.

Whereas premiering a film on iTunes remained a big gamble, different studios had begun exploring the choice. The month earlier than Purple Violets‘ debut, Fox Searchlight launched a 13-minute brief movie to assist construct anticipation for Wes Anderson’s feature-length The Darjeeling Limited. Folks reportedly downloaded the free brief greater than 400,000 instances.

“We’re actually on the beginning stage in the movie space,” stated Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice chairman for iTunes. “After all we would like the entire Hollywood films, however we do like the truth that we generally is a nice distribution car for the little guys.”

On the time, iTunes had offered greater than four million film downloads, together with brief movies. Nonetheless, iTunes nonetheless provided fewer than 1,000 titles on the market.

Apple and the shifting leisure panorama

At this time, Purple Violets isn’t significantly well-remembered. (Rotten Tomatoes does not even rank the film, resulting from an absence of critiques.) Nonetheless, its producers have been definitely forward of the sport in embracing film distribution by iTunes.

Lately, Apple TV+ streams original TV shows and movies that Apple both produced itself or acquired. With increasingly more folks skipping theater visits, and chopping the twine on cable TV at dwelling, it appears Purple Violets director Edward Burns had the suitable concept. Even when he was a couple of years early.