The Danny Boyle-directed “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender and featuring a script penned by Aaron Sorkin (based on the Walter Isaacson authorized biography of the Apple co-founder), has suffered an abysmal opening weekend at U.S. theaters. In fact, the movie has only earned some $500,000 more than “Jobs,” the critically condemned bio-movie starring Aston Kutcher.
According to Variety, Boyle's “Steve Jobs” took $7.3 million on its opening weekend, which is nothing compared to its estimated $30 million cost (a figure bolstered further by a reported additional $30 million in marketing fees). Because of this, the movie needs to make a lot more to break even, yet if its opening weekend is anything to go by, “Steve Jobs” is shaping up to be a financial, if not critical, failure.
So, what went wrong, Variety asks? Well, it's a tough one. Despite some tracking signalling that the picture could score as much as $19 million in opening weekend funding, Variety posits that the movie was “too brainy, too cold, and too expensive to make it a success.” The article goes on to question whether Fassbender, though brilliant, has the commercial pulling power to draw audiences into the picture. Yet, as Variety goes on to add, all is not lost … yet:
Universal believes that the picture can recover. Studio executives note that it is popular in major urban markets like San Francisco and New York, and argue that the film’s A minus CinemaScore means word-of-mouth will be strong. If it can stay in theaters until Golden Globe and Oscar nominations are announced, they believe it can rebound.
There'll need to be a reported $120 million in earnings for “Steve Jobs” to break even, and due to its dialogue-driven storyline, foreign prospects seem “bleak,” the article adds. Domestically, it's made $10 million to date, and so the chances of Boyle's picture reaching the fabled $120 million mark seem unlikely.
That doesn't undervalue the quality of the picture itself, of course: as Variety concludes, “Steve Jobs” was “a brilliant picture, and a bad bet.” Have you seen the movie yet?