Just like the original Macintosh or iPhone, the Steve Jobs movie is racking up favorable reviews among a few early adopters — en route to (hopefully) taking over the world.
After its limited opening weekend, it’s definitely off to a strong start.
The $30 million movie played in limited release over the weekend, bringing in a total of $521,000.
That is, of course, way way under the $208,806,270 that Jurassic World scored in its first weekend this summer, but it was also on a minuscule fraction of the screens — appearing in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Taken on a per-screen basis, Steve Jobs earned $130,250 per screen, which gives it the 15th highest per-theatre figure in history.
Of course, the real test is going to be when Steve Jobs goes wide. Next weekend it will expand to 25 markets and 60 theaters, and then to 2,000+ theaters on October 23.
The strategy of offering limited releases is one that movie studios have often used for films that are more reliant on creating buzz than they are on big special effects and star power.
As anyone who has ever read the classic marketing book Crossing the Chasm will know, of course, there’s plenty that can go wrong between strong demand from early adopters and managing to create a product that’s going to be broadly popular. Movies which do well in L.A. and New York don’t always translate well to Middle America.