Steve Jobs movie is unceremoniously dumped out of theaters


Steve Jobs is booted off screens. It's almost like the 1985 Apple board is running theaters.
Photo: Universal

Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs movie had another disastrous showing at the box office over the weekend. With earnings declining more than 69 percent from the previous weekend to just $823,000, the movie was dumped from 2,072 screens — more than any other film.

By comparison, the new Bond movie Spectre took $73 million in its opening weekend.

The box office failure of Steve Jobs (no doubt much to the delight of Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Laurene Powell Jobs and others who criticized it) has been among the most disappointing of the year.

To give you a sense of how big we’re talking, the original box office projections for the movie’s debut weekend were between $15 and $19 million. As it currently stands, the film has so far earned just $16,684,073 in its entire theatrical run — not only less than many thought it would make in three days, but barely more than the 2013 critical failure Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher.

What’s to account for the disaster? There are multiple theories I’ve written about before, but there was an interesting interview with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin over the weekend, in which he took issue with a frequent comment from readers here: that audiences have been put off by the movie’s supposed inaccuracies.

Speaking at Deadline’s The Contenders event, Sorkin said that, “I think there’s been some confusion about the movie,” and that, “There’s not a fact about Steve Jobs that has been distorted, perverted or invented except this: Steve Jobs didn’t have confrontations with five people 40 minutes before every product launch. That’s a writer’s conceit.”

Sorkin also noted that he would not describe the movie as a “biopic.” In addition, he poked fun at people who rigidly stick up for accuracy by saying that, “the Sante Fe Operahouse is doing an opera on Steve Jobs for the 2017 season. People’s heads in Cupertino, CA are going to burst knowing that Steve Jobs wasn’t a tenor!”

Personally, I can see both sides in this. I’m a huge fan of Sorkin’s writing and it’s tough to see a movie so well-reviewed get such a box office mauling. But I also think it’s slightly missing the point to say that people are complaining about what’s in the movie so much as what’s been left out of it.

I’ve never spoken to a single person who knew Steve Jobs during the first half of the 1980s who didn’t admit he could be a nightmare to work with on occasion. But the Jobs who returned to Apple in the late 90s (the period the movie ends with) was a very different, more mature figure than the one who screamed at people during the Macintosh era.

A lot of the criticism I’ve heard is less about Sorkin making up a ton of bad things, as it is about leaving out Jobs’ good qualities. And as we saw from the massive outpouring of grief when Jobs died, I’m not sure all that many people want to queue up to see a film about a person they admired being portrayed as a bad guy.

Steve Jobs is now playing in just 421 theaters.

Source: Box Office Mojo

Deals of the Day

  • Lynn

    They greatly pissed off the only potential customers they had for this move.

  • CelestialTerrestrial

    Wow, just wow. I wonder what Sorkin has to say now? Hahaha.

  • sounder

    That’s two movies about Jobs down the drain.
    Maybe the next movie will do better if they charge three times more for a gold colored ticket?

    • Danielle LivingwithLeukemia Ko

      *Rose Gold*

    • HumanTorch

      Android fanboy. Right? Must be tough

      • MWisBest

        The only tough part of Android for me is seeing iCult friends waste money on overpriced locked-down crap that belongs in last year’s market. People are stupid though. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • HumanTorch

        Yup, that must be it.

      • wlym

        Oh come on, you don’t really have any iCult friends, do you? How much “Apple Kool-aid” do they need to drink to wash down your clichéd, sanctimonious BS?

  • Biebs

    Ugh, yet another article analyzing this movie.

    It’s very simple – nobody cares. Would I like to see this movie? Sure. But I’ve also always felt the same way of the Ashton Kutcher one and clearly I’m not running out the door to see it.

    This is not the kind of movie you pay $15 to see in a theater. It’s the kind of movie you rent when it’s winter/snowing and you’re bored one night.

    People are also fed up with everybody trying to cash in on Jobs since his death. It’s been done over and over again – we’re good now.

    • There it is! Nobody cares. The movie talks about a Steve Jobs that most current Apple customers don’t care about. The film is about a man’s troubled relationship with his daughter, but the drama of that story was resolved by the time the target audience became Apple customers.

      • Adrayven

        Exactly. He and his daughter reconciled and became very close not long after this story arc in the movie. Which is why I was surprised his daughter participated. Though, I’ve read she was not happy with what Sorkin’s work because he re-nigged several promises and didn’t get anything like what she expected.

        I guess she thought she could influence the movie from the inside to make it not come out bad.. She doesn’t know Hollywood.. They go for blood to make money, consequences to those it’s about be damned.

    • mandawg

      I agree. And I don’t think it’s just Jobs. Very little has come out of 2015 that looked interesting enough to leave the house for.

      • Michael Harwell

        Age of Ultron looked interesting enough, but spoiler alert – it wasn’t worth leaving the house for.

  • itpromike

    For the benefit of the author and the readers here, the “confrontations with five people 40 minutes before every product launch” were not the only made up parts about this movie. There are A LOT of things about this Steve Jobs and other people who worked at Apple that were just plain fabricated for the sake of telling a story. Not only that but there are accurate ‘items’ in this movie that are attributed to the wrong people, thus making more of a mess of things. For example there were arguments that Woz had with John Skully after Steve was on his way out of Apple, that in this movie are portrayed as arguments with Woz and Steve etc… It’s just wildly inaccurate. This movie is the equivalent of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in contrast to Abraham Lincoln’s real life.

    • Luke Dormehl

      Is it wrong that I would totally be on board for Steve Jobs Vampire Hunter?

      • itpromike

        LOL – More people would see it and it would make a heck of a lot more money than this thing.

      • James

        Me too! He would have an I-machete to kill vampires. It would break after one use because it was made of balsa wood, Steve would have the vampire eat ten Chinese laborers while he invents (ie steals) a slightly better, overpriced upgrade.

      • Hum, iMachete, now what would that be? It would not be balsa wood, it would have to be aluminum because Johny Ive, but there would be a BS problem with the thing, the handle maybe? Of course there would be the Samsung knock off made of “stainless steel” but actually made of pot metal that shattered the first time you tried to split an undead skull.

      • Richard Liu

        And the blade must be coated in silver, space grey, and rose gold.

      • Adrayven

        ROFL! Now, that, obviously a fabrication, would be fun!

        I think it’s because Sorkin did everything he could to obscure the fact this was fiction that pisses people off. Yes, Sorkin did tweet and say in public it was fiction, but only after people started complaining. If they had not complained, he never, ever would have said a word and let everyone think of it as a bio-pic.

        He only came out saying it was fiction as damage control. Even the disclaimer in the beginning wasn’t their in the initial showings, it only popped up AFTER complaints about inaccuracies.

    • mandawg

      This drives me crazy. Why make stuff up when it’s interesting on its own?

    • Gary Pageau

      “Steve Jobs: Vegan Vampire Hunter” is a movie I would pay to see.

  • aardman

    What does Mike Daisey think?

  • Jerome  Soucy

    The problem is that the life of Steve Jobs isn’t something for the theater… Jobs was notoriously secretive about his personal life and trying to convey this into a movie is almost guaranteed to be a failure. Also, his death is still too close to home for a lot of people. We all kow how much of a cult his personality has created… trying to make a movie so soon after his death is perceived as a blatant attempt to cash out.

    Maybe in 20-30 years the movie will be popular but for the meantime…i don’t care to see it. I have plenty of interviews & product launch videos to look at. This is how I remember Steve… for his brillance at delivering a message. His personal life was his…

    • airmanchairman

      Shouldn’t have called it “Steve Jobs” then. So many famous and successful biopic movies have been made that didn’t rely on hanging on to the protagonist’s real name: Citizen Kane (William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper magnate), Casino (Frank Rosenthal, multi-casino mogul), Goodfellas (several real-life mobsters). These were mostly made decades after their characters had passed away (with the exception of Citizen Kane) and all went on to be monster hits at the box-office, winning many major awards.

      This explains why Tim Cook called the effort opportunistic, and he’s spot on.

    • Sumi Allen

      I’m neutral about the Jobs event, but when I see yet ANOTHER movie based off of a Silicon Valley or Wall Street tycoon, I’m almost put off.
      I actually wish these people would craft their own autobiographies and “boring” documentaries/interviews instead of letting Hollywood do this.

      The real talent in the Entertainment Biz is the marketing. Techies could make much more good with the marketing south of them instead of making another (unimaginative) movie about a tycoon whom people seemed to admire.

      With this movie, I think it’s beneficiaries are the egos of those who made it. What am I supposed to get out of it?

      Is it a comedy?

      Is it as fun as Johnny Depp makes Jack Sparrow out to be?

      Is it fascinating like Harry Potter?

      Is it even true to life?

      It’s only as fascinating as Hollywood can handle, and unfortunately Entertainment anymore doesn’t go beyond bad script writing, incestuously nepotistic “talent” and Caucasians portraying Asian/Caucasian characters. Not that Jobs is Asian or anything.

      They should’ve spun off Days of our Lives with Days of Silly Vally Yay Area or the Dukes of Santa Clara.

  • DrMuggg

    Funny to compare it to Spectre, the last Bond Movie… I saw that this weekend – it was maybe a 3 out of 10…

    As Lynn so cleverly points out, this would be a HUGE pile of money, if they had stuck to the truth…then Apple positive people would
    go see it – to get the “true” meaning of SJ and his life. Instead they fabricate a bunch of Sh*t which makes everybody who LIKES
    SJ/Apple to say, -No, I don’t want to see this, it is NOT the true story….

    • Luke Dormehl

      I was also massively disappointed by Spectre. I went in with ridiculously high expectations, but it was nothing compared to Casino Royale or Skyfall (or any number of previous Bond movies.) A shame.

      • DrMuggg

        I think Daniel Craig was best in Layer Cake… :-)

        Spectre is very…uneven….long passages with dullness… The movie could have been 30min shorter. It is also always such bad manuscripts in Bond movies.
        He goes from A to B, sleeping with women along the way, in sort of a direct line. The bad guy misses 113 opportunities to kill him. He also everytime takes on 18 bad guys – and wins – or guns down a helicopter with a 9mm shit-pistol…
        At the end he runs off with a 17 years younger girl. He should have called that Italian woman instead :-)

      • Luke Dormehl

        I don’t know how far back your Bond fandom goes, but it felt like a sub-par early Moore/late Connery movie — and I say that as someone who likes the 1970s “light comedy” Bond phase. There were all the pieces to make a great movie, but none of them really clicked. In the end it felt like they were throwing things at the screen like a rapid fire comedian; knowing that nothing was really hitting but do enough “bits” fast enough and no-one would care. I’ve liked Skyfall a bit less each time I’ve seen it, but it’s still in the top-third of all Bond movies. This was on a level with Man with the Golden Gun and The World is Not Enough as one of the weaker movies in the franchise.

      • Three_to_Five

        Casino Royale was amazing, but why does everyone love Skyfall so much? It was basically James Bond meets Home Alone. The entire second half of the movie was so stupid I could hardly believe they filmed it with a straight face.

      • Luke Dormehl

        I didn’t like the third act either, and the whole film basically recycled huge amounts of The World is Not Enough — albeit executed better. I’d also agree it’s not a patch on Casino Royale, and it borrows a bit too liberally from Nolan, specifically The Dark Knight.

        What did I like about it? Silva was (up until the third act) a great villain, probably the most memorable since Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye; the cinematography was wonderful; it had some great action sequences; and it managed to be both an intelligent film, while also making nostalgic nods to the past. It would be in my second tier of Bond movies, alongside Thunderball, Octopussy, and a few others. I think a lot of people praise Skyfall too much because they only started watching during the Craig era and because it followed an awful movie in Quantum of Solace. It’s still a fun movie, but not without its flaws.

      • Luke Dormehl

        To be fair to Mendes, I think they were going more for Straw Dogs than Home Alone. But I still think it didn’t work as well as they probably envisioned it. I would’ve forgiven a lot had Sean Connery played the groundskeeper though.

      • Farty Fartsalot

        Is it better than “Quantum of Solace”?

      • Luke Dormehl

        It’s more disappointing, but probably a better movie. I need to watch Quantum again. It’s closer to Quantum than it is to Skyfall, though.

  • bob

    I have never seen a biopic (yes, this is a biopic) that wasn’t contrived all to hell. Folks, real life doesn’t work like fiction. Our real world is not unified around a thesis, doesn’t have plotting that pushes forward to a resolution, or characters that have uniquely fitting qualities. The whole idea of the biopic is flawed. Better to go with an scholarly biography if you want the true story.

  • G1

    I’ll probably see this movie eventually (on Netflix), but it’s not something I’d pay to see. In my opinion, this just isn’t the type of movie made for a theater.

    A theater is geared toward making a suspenseful movie feel more suspenseful, or making the viewer feel more involved in an action film. Seeing “Steve Jobs” in the theater would add nothing to the experience over watching it on my big screen at home.

  • Ause Ekel

    Adjust Kutcher’s Jobs for inflation and it still grossed more than Sorkin’s. It grossed 17,1M on today’s numbers, still ahead of Boyle’s Jobs. Sorkin should just accept that people didn’t like his approach. Maybe most critics did (although none of them loved it) but the audience didn’t or wasn’t interested. I don’t care about Jobs and watching an inaccurate film that only bothers to show he was a jerk and in the last ten minutes tries to make him a saint…I pass.

  • Paul Rubin

    There’s only one reason why the box office was so bad despite good reviews and some interesting subject matter and nobody seems to be getting it. The Steve Jobs story from the creation of Apple to his return (iMac, Microsoft investment) has been told already. Pirates of Silicon Valley, the Kutcher movie, 1 or 2 documentaries, etc. Sorkin screwed up to the tune of millions by focusing on that same time period. Tactical error. The time frame they should have covered should have focused on what’s not known but what most people care about, more recent history. iPod, iTunes, iPhone, apps, iPad, MacBook Air, Chinese manufacturing problems, first Apple TV, retail stores, Jonny Ive, Tim Cook, etc. Remaining focused on the era when Steve Jobs wandered in the tech wilderness might sound better in a staff meeting, but it’s not what people are thinking about when they consider Apple or Jobs anymore. Accuracy was NOT the issue. Didn’t help that it competed with The Martian which drew from some of the same audience. Money in the bank that if the movie focused on late 90’s to his death, we’re talking about $50M or more in sales to date.

    • Luke Dormehl

      I agree with pretty much all of this. Skip the “biopic” if you want and just do an interesting 24 hours in the life of Jobs from, say, 2008. Or keep the structure and focus on the iPod, iPhone and iPad launch. Trouble is that there’s so much less human drama at that point. Following The Social Network narrative, all techies have to be great at helping others communicate, but lousy human beings themselves. Have a down-to-earth Brit (Jony Ive), a hard working operations guy (Cook), a few competent execs and a mellowed CEO as your characters and… *gasp* it’s a movie about a corporation that’s not all that evil.

    • AngelN19HJ

      I think accuracy was a big part of the issue. I might have gone to see it had it not been a pack of lies, But yes… the definitive film (Pirates) about this period of his life and career has already been made. There was nothing to be gained from not only attempting to reinvent the wheel, but making most of it up.

    • aunty

      No – the reason why the box office is so bad is because the vast majority of people don’t know him, have never heard of him & don’t care one jot about him. It’s failure has got absolutely nothing to do with his story other than nobody is interested in it – he is elevated to legendary status by die hard Apple fans, not Joe Public.

      The guy, for all his many personal issues, has changed the world forever and history will prove it. Time to let him rest for the time being though – he deserves it.

      • thedefect

        I think your first paragraph is spot on. The public generally doesn’t care about the guy who made smartphones more finger-friendly, which is all most of them would really know him for. Die-hard Apple fans adore him, other tech people have mixed feelings about him, but generally he’s an unknown to most people. I think you’re 100% right here.

        As for the second paragraph, I don’t think his impact will be as great as you believe. I think he’ll be known for popularizing smartphones and tablets to a lesser degree, but that’s more or less the extent of how history will view him. But time will tell.

    • thedefect

      There’s virtually nothing interesting in Jobs’ life during the period you’re referring to, though. At least not on a cinematic scale. The problem isn’t accuracy, it’s that in reality very few people care about Steve Jobs. A lot of people like his products, but he’s not someone anyone really admires outside an Apple crowd. As a person, he was fairly unpleasant if not actually awful. As a tech icon, his best years were really early on. The real problem is these movies try to do two really bizarre things: they try to paint him as a visionary AND as a nightmare. He was neither, but you have two sides competing: those who think he’s the closest thing to a god possible and those who think he’s human scum. So this film was never going to do well, because you can’t truly depict him in a way that satisfies either group. He’s just not a character anyone has interest in really seeing these days.

  • James

    Or maybe people just don’t care to see a movie about an A-hole…

  • Day_is_Over

    The answer is simple: no one is interested in the life of steve jobs. Not enough to watch it on a film. Hollywood was way off the pulse on public interest on this bio pic.

  • bettyspinks

    What’s to understand? Half the population hates Apple. The half that do like Apple, like Apple products. NOT Steve Jobs. If they had asked 1,000 people before they made this film if they had any interest, 90% of them would’ve said no. Additionally, the character of Jobs is an “old guy”. 18-34 year olds aren’t interested in going to see a drama about an old white guy. The Social Network worked because the main character was young.

    • Michael Harwell

      Half the population? I don’t think half the population even knows what kind of computer they own.

      • thedefect

        Very true. But between the people who do have an opinion, there’s a pretty big split.

  • Butch_Zee

    Well that’s 2 movies about Steve Jobs that have bombed. Maybe it’s time for Aaron Sorkin to start writing the Bill Gates movie.

    • Michael Harwell

      Yeah that sounds like it’ll do great in the theaters.

      • revelated

        To be fair, I think a movie highlighting Ballmer AND Gates’ failures would do well. Especially if they show the many public failures of the product – like the infamous XP blue screen incident AND what happened to the employee(s) afterwards.

    • Jakub Sedlak

      Well… I’d love to see Dean Norris playing Steve Ballmer…

  • Three_to_Five

    There have been half a dozen Steve Jobs movies, and nobody really cares all that much. That’s the reason the movie isn’t doing well. He was certainly a technological visionary, but overall he just wasn’t THAT interesting.

    • Michael Harwell

      Oh I don’t agree with that. SJ was a rockstar – people made a big fuss about him when he would make public appearances or interviews. Bloggers would tweet and take pictures of him when he attended the Emmy’s.

      I think the problem was as you said – there have already been a half dozen SJ movies.

      • thedefect

        He was a rock star in certain circles. He wasn’t a rock star in the broader sense. If you ask most people who he is, they probably won’t be able to peg him to Apple. Maybe not even to tech at all. It’s the nature of public perception.

      • Three_to_Five

        No doubt he was a popular figure, but that doesn’t mean anyone cares about his backstory enough to watch a biopic movie about his life. There’s a difference between being a popular public figure and an interesting historical figure. I mean, really, do you want to watch a movie about the life of Kim Kardashian or Peyton Manning?


    A good Steve Jobs movie (if it’s ever made) will not be made by someone like Aaron Sorkin, who clearly has an axe to grind with his subject. After seeing the hatchet job Sorkin did with Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”, I just wasn’t interested. Not that Zuckerberg is that wonderful of a guy, but there’s a lot more to the man than what Sorkin put on the screen.

    I think Sorkin is jealous of people who have accomplished so much more than he has, and have made so much more money than him. Perhaps making movies is his way of cutting them down to size.

  • Peter Westberg

    Um…no one except Apple zombies care about that guy. Despite all the hype those zombies put out, the world doesn’t revolve around him, and no, your life won’t be perfect if you own something his company sells.

  • Derpmaciaa

    No one gives a crap about him. Apple products are toys for babies. All he did was take something and change it to make it pretty. Very innovative indeed. I can’t wait for a movie about his life. Not.

  • dukeeastwood

    AAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA… makes my day!!!!

    Fuck Steve Jobs and Apple 4 Life!!!!!!

    • Michael Harwell

      In the time it took for you to write this comment, Apple made as much money that this film has made in 3 weeks.

  • jb226

    What is the market for this to begin with?

    I like Apple products. I’m writing this on my Macbook Pro, I have an Airport Extreme, a magic mouse, had an iPod, etc. etc. But I have absolutely no interest in watching a movie about Steve Jobs. I know the jist of his story with regard to Apple, getting forced out, brought back and all that — and I have no particular interest in knowing more. To make not one but multiple movies in addition to all the books is just crazy. It seems to me that whatever market may have existed is already served. “Surely if we make ANOTHER movie it will be a smash hit!” is poor logic. Assuming it should be successful and then trying to figure out why it wasn’t is little more than begging the question. Maybe it was never going to be successful in the first place.

  • FishbowlPhenom

    I’m sure this has been said already, but they’re way overthinking what went wrong. Audiences weren’t put off – they were simply indifferent. I myself felt bad about being so uninterested in the film, as it truly does have a lot of talent attached, but when you don’t care, you don’t care.

    2015 is proving to be a very backloaded year as far as compelling film releases go, so something was inevitably going to get shut out. Frankly, Steve Jobs being the shut-out makes sense.

  • Paul Rubin

    I don’t think we know precisely what went on behind the scenes from about 2000 on but you can’t keep going back to the well. It’s possible there would be no audience for post 1998 Steve Jobs but the pre-2000 version has been done to death already.

  • mandawg

    I have never, ever, understood the views of Sorkin and other screenwriters who purposely misconstrue facts in film, as if they believe it won’t have an impression on people. There’s plenty of interesting truth involving Jobs or Nixon or King or whomever without having to make shit up.

  • Ramshambo2001

    Honestly, everybody I talked to didn’t really care or know about the movie. I’d say there was just a lack of interest all around.

  • spencermartin94

    I was planning on seeing the movie soon, that’s pretty disappointing.

    • Michael Harwell

      it’s still playing in almost every theater near me. based on a quick google search, there are nearly 40,000 movie theaters in the country. Dropping 2,000 screens is a big deal, but i assume many films have to drop after low turn out.

  • colin haller

    And some of us just aren’t interested in seeing a movie about someone for whom we have a vanishingly small amount of respect.

  • Richard Liu

    I must admit that I’m delighted for this result. I’m Chinese and I felt deeply offended by Sorkin’s racism comments.

    • Shawn Dehkhodaei

      It’s funny, I’ve noticed from time to time, Jewish people, who constantly complain about racism and discrimination, are the ones who are usually making racist comments and remarks …. All the way from Israel to the US. Whether it’s a mayor in Toronto, or an actor in Hollywood, or a venture capitalist …. They somehow believe they’re exempt from the establishment of society.

      • Richard Liu

        Actually I’ve no idea who you’re referring to. In Chinese society we have our own racial discrimination problems, but the Anti-semitism is the least thing we’d concerned. Most Chinese people don’t have prejudice against Jewish people, and the reason is simple: it’s almost impossible for Asians to distinguish the difference of Americans, Europeans and Jews. Just like you would find it difficult to distinguish Chinese from Japanese.

  • Mark

    The reasons the film failed at the box office are so obvious, you could trip over them. 1) Steve Jobs fatigue. There have been a ton of Jobs bio-pics over the past few years – or, if not a ton, it seems that way – and each time, the media goes on a Steve Jobs article blitz. People are sick of hearing his name. 2) General audiences don’t give a flying fuck about Steve Jobs. They want escapism right now – the successful films at the b.o. are showing that, for better or worse. When people at home today see a trailer of a bunch of annoyed and angry people walking around backstage, it doesn’t exactly make them leap up and grab their wallet and shout, “Take my $12!” We’ve just gotten out of a recession. Think of what happened in the 1980’s after the ’70’s and the good films that became casualties of the zeitgeist then. People wanted to have fun at the movies. Not be reminded about their bad marriages and certainly not to watch a billionaire bitching in a turtleneck for two hours. 3) Audiences don’t give a fuck about “inaccuracies” in a film about a person they don’t care about or are only mildly interested in. 4) Steve Jobs is somebody people talk about at cocktail parties. 5) Your average audience member does not go to cocktail parties. 6) If you’re thinking, “Hey, “The Social Network” did okay!” – that’s because people know and care about Facebook – it had an immediacy at the time it was released. 7) Audiences aren’t impressed with structural innovations in plot dynamics; they want a story to move, at a pace, in a linear fashion. While some advances in tastes in America have been happening ever since “Pulp Fiction” in terms of an audience tolerating those kinds of devices, most people will simply tune out. Let’s put it this way: I love Danny Boyle. I usually jump at the chance to see anything he does. I’m an educated person and an obsessive film geek. I love Fassbender. I love Rogen. I’m tech savvy. I used to do I.T., for crying out loud. I should be THE target audience for this film. And I am in no way interested in a film about Steve Jobs. Why? Because I already know the story. I’ve already read the articles. And most importantly – I’ve already seen every film that’s been made about him. In short – this film is late to the game and totally outside of what mainstream tastes are right now in movies and in what audiences are looking for. Bottom line: anyone who thought this film was going to be profitable should fired. This is a critic’s film, and an awards film – NOT a film that in any way should have been expected to be embraced by mass audiences.

    • Day_is_Over

      I’ll start the slow clap.

  • Farty Fartsalot

    I’ll bet if this film had Mark Wahlberg in the lead & Michael Bay’s ugly name attached to it, it would still remain in the box office’s top 10. People are idiots…

  • The Pool Man

    Hollywood teaches audiences that if a movie isn’t epic it’s nothing. And then a little ‘indie’ film about Steve Jobs bombs. Where’s the surprise part again?

  • Angus Swan

    The movie’s title is eponymous…who would EVER think it was a biopic? I have a sympathy for Sorkin’s position, he’s creating a piece of art, not a reproduction of someone’s life. But in the same way he didn’t call The Social Network ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ maybe he should have put a bit more distance between him and the subject. I also challenge the point of the film. Admittedly having not yet seen it, there is nothing new revealed here. Everyone knows that Jobs could be a nightmare, that’s not up for debate. The debate is whether his brilliance outweighed his nightmarishness and that is a subjective equation that either can’t be answered, or this close to his death. Watching him fictionally beat up on a set of people before historical launch events is not going to help anyone come to an opinion or change their mind. Also, the whole backstage conversation setup is a conceit in both senses of the word. The kind of gig that self-realised Academy Award actors can convince themselves is serious art, not just a biopic cash-in fronted by a guy who does sitcoms and advertises chewing gum. As is the casting of Fassbender. A conceit that art movies don’t need to cast actors that don’t need to look like the people they are playing because they can do it all by mannerism and intonation. There is something both simultaneously pretentious yet opportunistic about the whole project that could turn audiences off.

  • Or maybe people just don’t care about Steve Jobs.

  • wlym

    Dear cultofmac: I saw your “Boo adblocker” popover alert about how I’m hurting your business by using an adblocker, so I decided to whitelist your site. Then I saw that there were 18 ads and 1 tracker running on this 1 page! Not reasonable. Ad blocker stays on.

  • mailscns

    if its not a biopic or does not have facts about steve, then why name the movie steve jobs. when people see the movie title, they would expect steve jobs story not aaron sorkin’s painted story.

  • lkalliance

    I thought the movie was well done, and enjoyed it. I didn’t see it as a biopic, but rather a deconstruction of the parts of Steve Jobs that were struggling to find a voice, at the same time…and the other people around him and selected events of his life were arranged so as to illuminate them.

    Woz == his relationship with his peers, at his most ego-maniacal.
    Andy Hertzfeld == his relationship with his employees, over whom he could be domineering.
    John Sculley == his search for a replacement father figure.

    Joanna Hoffman is there as a place where he can let his guard down a little bit, and we see it all coming together somewhat. Lisa is the focal point: it is her relationship with her father that is the avenue of his redemption. Within the message of the movie, Apple Computer is really not the important bit. For him to accept Lisa and for her to accept him, those three stormy parts of his personality need to reach a better place.

    We end seemingly on the precipice of his stepping forward into the Steve Jobs that those upset with the movie remember. We don’t see his path to redemption and see he’s taken the path, and we are free to imagine what it will be like when he steps beyond.

  • Jeff

    Sorkin forgot that he was writing for the big screen. This film was written for television where everything is pretty much talking heads, and Sorkin loves to hear himself talk through his characters. There was no letup in the yakking. No quiet moments. At all. He had created Jobs as such an unlikeable person. What did he expect? I’m not going to fault Michael Fassbender and the people associated with the film… they did a great job with the dreck they were given, but honesty is the best policy.

  • Matt Hone

    I think Walt Mossberg said it best when he said the film stopped right before the most interesting and productive period of Steve Jobs’ life – the iPod, iPhone, iPad and everything in between.

    Mossberg said it was also the period when Steve Jobs became a much more likeable person. The fact that they focused it on the worst time of Steve Jobs’ life (his temper tantrums and conflict with Sculley/Woz) speaks more to me about the preferences of Aaron Sorkin. He just likes finding the worst in people. He did the same thing with Mark Zuckerberg, who actually seems like quite a nice guy from everything else written about him.

  • zubinster

    No one is happier than me at watching this shitty movie sink. (Rest assured: No one is ever going to make another movie about Steve Jobs in Hollywood.)

    I don’t think the failure had anything to to do with inaccuracies. No one cares.

    I bet you that when these people pitched this movie to Hollywood execs, they made the argument that everyone who is crazy about Apple products will want to see this movie. And imagine what a big audience that is!

    I think that audiences are way smarter than these jerks Sorkin and Boyle give them credit for. People know instinctively that if you admire someone, it pays to stay away from a Hollywood biopic about them. It’s a given that in their attempts to Hollywoodize the story, the writer and the director will ***always*** get it wrong.

    People in general detest the way Hollywood takes an entire trajectory of a complex and multi-faceted life, and squeezes it into two hours of made up drama, fake conflict and overacted platitudes.

    I was genuinely afraid that this movie might succeed, which would have definitely have made me loose respect for humanity. But failures like this one are food for the soul. They remind you that ordinary people are not as stupid as Hollywood assumes them to be.

  • AELC89

    i’ll tell you why the movie is dumping in cinema’s, people born after 1995 have no idea who the fuck Steve jobs is.

    Youth of today know who kim Kardashian is, but dont know one of the greatest inventors of modern day. I was in the cinema when i first saw the trailier for the jobs film, once it ended the person behind me asked her boyfriend who the guy was in the movie, while browsing some bull shit social media on her IPHONE.

  • Gary Pageau

    How about this: To the general population that goes to movies for entertainment, “Steve Jobs” was just not interesting. Steve Jobs, despite the media’s fascination with him, is not a mainstream hero. To most people, he was that crabby guy who invented the iPhone. (That’s not accurate, of course, but perceptions never are.) This probably would have been better off as an HBO movie.

  • bdkennedy

    Face it, this was a Netflix movie.

  • xenobia

    OF COURSE FLOPPED !!!!!!!!!!!!

    This Film is Made on Behalf of MALDROID in Order To Harm Jobs’ Image & Apple’s Reputation As A Whole According to The Scheme Invoked by VILLAIN Who Masterminded The Plot !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyone Can Suss What is Fishy Was Going On Behind The Scenes.