Apple Considered Buying Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment, but Talks 'Fizzled Out' [Updated]

Another rumor of Apple's interest in acquiring a company involved in film and television has come to light today, with Financial Times reporting that the Cupertino company was in talks to acquire production company Imagine Entertainment, co-founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The deal is said to have gotten "serious enough" to include Apple CEO Tim Cook and senior vice president Eddy Cue, but discussions ultimately "fizzled out" for unknown reasons.

Those knowledgable about the deal said that possibilities ranged from a "first look" distribution strategy granted to Apple for movies and television shows released by Imagine all the way to an investment or even an outright purchase by Apple. Imagine is a company behind a number of well-known films, including all three entries in The Da Vinci Code series, Apollo 13, and the upcoming adaptation of The Dark Tower. Some of its production in the TV space includes shows like Empire, 24, and Parenthood.

brian grazer ron howard

Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment

According to Financial Times, Apple's current approach to original video content "has many in Hollywood scratching their heads."

This approach has many in Hollywood scratching their heads. Apple’s rounds of meetings with various entertainment industry players suggest it has not yet decided what its strategy should be.

The iPhone maker has been stalking Hollywood for more than a year, talking to leading industry players while it tries to formulate a cogent video strategy. It has considered a range of acquisitions and targets including, most recently, Imagine Entertainment, the Hollywood production company owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, according to several people briefed on the discussions.

Imagine is said to have recently faced the end of a long-term production and distribution deal with Universal Pictures, which is when Apple is believed to have considered entering into a first look deal with the company. The new Imagine rumor marks another bump in the road for Apple's trip around Hollywood, following reports that the company considered buying Time Warner last year. Later in the year, people familiar with Apple's acquisition strategy said it was "not interested" in acquiring Time Warner at the time.

Today's news follows a Bloomberg report from yesterday that underscored Apple's "arrogance" in mergers and acquisitions, where it's reported to use shrewd business tactics and non-traditional strategies in its attempts to acquire new companies. These tactics work mostly for Apple's smaller acquisitions, according to some analysts, but impede its success at acquiring larger companies, although it is unclear how seriously Apple has pursued any such large targets.

Update 12:50 PM: Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg tells Variety, "The story is not accurate and Imagine has no further comment."

Top Rated Comments

bladerunner2000 Avatar
53 months ago
I wouldn't wanna sell to a company that's producing this garbage:

Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
53 months ago
I'd like to see Apple go all in and just buy Netflix.
No thanks... Netflix is great as is. Apple keep out. Personally, I don't want to see "Apple's improvements".. they'll destroy it.

It may actually turn off potential new business knowing that clients will be dealing with Apple.


Edit:

I wouldn't wanna sell to a company that's producing this garbage:

Netflix doesn't need this crap. This looks awful.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
disagree Avatar
53 months ago
Pfft. Apple doesn't need them. Apple can develop the inevitable "All Along the Wacthband Tower" reality show about new watchbands all by themselves.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stevet Avatar
53 months ago
This headline is great. Common too, how many times have we seen "Apple tried to buy xxxxx but talks fizzled out"? Aka, the Eddie cue syndrome.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheShadowKnows! Avatar
53 months ago
wow.. I must admit.. It looks horrible.. Nobody in the general public will watch this..
It certainly does look horrible, beyond words. [But never underestimate the stupidity of the people watching reality-programming. Who knows?]

My view: an ill-conceived effort, while the following target-rich programs are making their mark:
[LIST=1]
* NBC (nbc.com ('http://nbc.com')): The Blacklist, Blindspot, Shades of Blue, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, Timeless
* ABC (abc.go.com ('http://abc.go.com')): Designated Survivor
* FOX (foxnow.com ('http://foxnow.com')): Lethal Weapon, Rosewood
* Showtime (showtimeanytime.com ('http://showtimeanytime.com')): Billions, Ray Donovan, Homeland, Brotherhood
* HBO (hbo.com ('http://hobo.com')): Game of Thrones, Westworld, Deadwood, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Ballers
* Starz (starz.com ('http://starz.com')): Outlander, Black Sails
* TNT (tntdrama.com ('http://tntdrama.com')): Good Behavior, Animal Kingdom, The Last Ship
* USA (USANetwork.com ('http://USANetwork.com')): Shooter
* History (history.com ('http://history.com')): Vikings, SIX, Forged in Fire
* FX (fxnetworks.com ('http://fxnetworks.com')): The Americans
* NBCSports (nbcsports.com ('http://nbcsports.com')): English Premier League (EPL)
* TV5Monde (usa.tv5monde.com ('http://usa.tv5monde.com')): French Cinema/News/Documentaries
* Comedy Central (cc.com ('http://cc.com')): South Park

Cook and Cue (C&C) have picked the lowest common denominator (a reality show). And worse, yet, decided to offer this as discriminator of AMusic, rather than ATV? WTF?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jetjaguar Avatar
53 months ago
I'd like to see Apple go all in and just buy Netflix.

Netflix's Market Cap is around 60b. Even if they "Are Not for Sale" Apple has the War Chest needed for a hostile take over. Since Apple's track record with content isn't as good as Netflix's they could let them run independently. Netflix would be good for another .50-.75 EPS when synergies are realized. With potential tax holidays on the horizon, I can't think of a reason not to buy netflix.
please god no .. Netflix is doing great .. don't need apple to ruin them
[doublepost=1487266665][/doublepost]
Can Eddy just retire already?
totally agree .. the guy is horrible
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
flat mbp 14 inch feature yellow

Redesigned 14-Inch MacBook Pro Expected to Feature Brighter Mini-LED Display With Slimmer Bezels and More

Thursday February 25, 2021 7:48 am PST by
Apple plans to unveil new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED-backlit displays in the second half of this year, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report claims that Radiant Opto-Electronics will be the exclusive supplier of the Mini-LED backlight units, while Quanta Computer is said to be tasked with final assembly of the...
mac mini developer transition kit photo feature

Apple Requiring Developers to Return DTK Mac Minis by March 31

Friday February 26, 2021 3:57 pm PST by
Apple today sent out emails to developers who are in possession of a Developer Transition Kit, asking them to return the machines by March 31. The Developer Transition Kits are Mac minis with A12Z chips that Apple provided for development purposes ahead of the release of the M1 Macs. Apple in the emails provided developers with shipping instructions, and plans to begin collecting the DTKs...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh rate, including display industry analyst Ross Young, leakers ...
unc0ver version 6 release

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 6.0.0 Released With iOS 14.3 Compatibility

Sunday February 28, 2021 9:26 am PST by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 6.0.0 of its software, which can allegedly be used to jailbreak any device running iOS 11.0 through iOS 14.3 using a kernel vulnerability. The unc0ver website describes how the tool has been extensively tested across a range of iOS devices running various software versions, including an iPhone 12 Pro Max running iOS ...