The long-awaited Jobs movie opened this weekend, with Box Office Mojo reporting that it took seventh place in the weekend openings, grossing $6.7M against top-grossing movie The Butler at $25M. Distributor Open Road Films had expected Jobs to gross $8-9M.
Playing at 2,381 locations, Jobs opened in seventh place with an estimated $6.7 million. While it was never expected to match The Social Network, it’s still very disappointing to note that the Steve Jobs biopic earned less than one-third as much as the Facebook story. This is also one of star Ashton Kutcher’s lowest openings ever—among nationwide releases, it’s only ahead of 2003’s My Boss’s Daughter ($4.9 million). Jobs had plenty of issues, including awful reviews and a comedy star playing dramatic (almost never a good idea). Most important, though, was the movie’s apparent tonal issues: while plenty of people enjoy their Apple products, the deification of Steve Jobs is a bit of a turn off. Jobs received a weak “B-” CinemaScore, and all indications are that it will disappear from theaters quickly …
The movie had been heavily promoted, and with so many pre-release clips out there you almost felt like you’d seen the movie before it hit theaters. Reviews were best described as mixed, with critics giving it a Rotten Tomatoes rating of just 25 percent.
Steve Wozniak, who had declined to act as a consultant to the movie after reading the script and saying he was “abhorred” by it, said that “there were a lot of things wrong,” with Jobs portrayed in too glowing a light. Speaking in an interview on Bloomberg TV, Wozniak blamed Ashton Kutcher’s reverence for Jobs, saying that Kutcher appeared to have had something of a producer as well as acting role:
Ashton has too much of this ‘fan’ thing, like a cult leader … He could not see that [Jobs] had a lot of flaws in knowing how to run things and execute and make products that were worthwhile at his time there. […]
[Jobs] failed with the Apple III, he failed with the Lisa, he failed with the Macintosh. People don’t know from the movie how deeply the Macintosh failed, how deeply our stock slide down, how we had to regroup quickly and build a Macintosh market over three years.
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Wozniak clearly feels he wasn’t given sufficient credit for his role, and that the importance of the Apple II – the product bringing in the revenues to support the marketing of the Macintosh – was underplayed, but also spoke up for other key players in the company at the same time.
Two of Apple’s early employees, Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez, had commented on a series of inaccuracies in the movie.
Wozniak is consulting on the Aaron Sorkin movie, which doesn’t yet have a release date.