Much has been made of the just-released indie movie starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, but while the blogosphere has continued to hype the Joshua Michael Stern flick, the first-weekend box office sales make for rather disappointing reading. Distributor of the Jobs movie Open Road Films projected a figure in the region of $8-9 million for its initial weekend, but Box Office Mojo estimates the number at just $6.7 million. Considering the movie’s budget was around $12 million, it’s certainly not bad going, but considering the stature of the man to which the film is based, one might have expected more movie goers to turn out.
The news will come as no less of a disappointment to Kutcher, who himself hasn’t seen one of his movies open to such low numbers for a decade, when My Boss’s Daughter pulled in $4.9 million. Despite showing at 2,381 different theaters, the reception has been less than impressive, and with many critics panning the movie for numerous reasons, it mightn’t last longer than a few weeks.
One of the reasons for the relative failure, as cited by Box Office Mojo, is that Kutcher is predominantly a comedy star, and hence audiences find it difficult to engage this altogether more serious role. With Jobs being such a respected figure in the field of technology, perhaps more so following his untimely death in 2011, a low-budget was always facing an uphill battle to entice those famously loyal Apple fans, and so it has proved.
The Social Network, a movie loosely documenting Mark Zuckerberg’s rise in the creation of Facebook, proves that there is a place in the mainstream for tech-centric movies. Given how Aaron Sorkin was behind it, one suspects his own adaptation of the life and times of Steve Jobs, in a Sony-commissioned movie set for release at some point next year, will fare better at the box office.
Still, it looks as though Open Road Films’ version hasn’t quite met the heights, and with a score of 43/100 over on Metacritic, the mixed-to-negative reviews are shipping by the boatload.
Have you seen the movie? Do you think the projection numbers for the weekend might be a way off? If so, be sure to leave your own opinions of it in the comments section below!