Audiences and Critics On Different Pages With Steve Jobs, Universal Reacts

Steve Jobs may leave a legacy as one of the more interesting biopics but despite it’s excellent execution it has been a massive flop when it comes to getting audiences to actually see it, usually a prime requisite for a film.

Michael Fassbender in the title role. Credit:
Michael Fassbender in the title role. Credit:

The film was receiving a huge amount of hype leading up to it’s release and was immediately put into the hat for Oscar contenders. This was due to the unique approach the filmmakers were taking and the vast talent that was on board the project. Aaron Sorkin, writer of The Newsroomcrafted the screenplay and acclaimed director Danny Boyle would lead the project. The film would play out as three large scenes, spanning a period of sixteen years as Apple went from strength to strength. The drama of the film depicted the events that took place behind the scenes of major product launches, as well as some flashbacks. Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs was so professional he memorised his whole script before rehearsals had even wrapped. Joining him were Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen.

Kate Winslet for Tom Munro. Credit:
Kate Winslet for Tom Munro. Credit:

This was the film that finally gave Steve Jobs and Apple the film they deserved, after two previous films; Pirates of Silicon Valley and Jobs failed to gain much steam.

Upon its release Steve Jobs was critically praised, scoring beyond 80 on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Audience reactions were hard to gauge, mainly because there wasn’t one. The film has performed dismally at the box office, in what at first glance seems a baffling result.

Seth Rogen proves he doesn't always have to be the fool. Credit:
Seth Rogen proves he doesn’t always have to be the fool. Credit:

Last week the film made less than $1million and has only pulled in a total of $16.1 million so far. This has prompted Universal to pull it out of around 2000 theatres, according to Collider, which could see it even more quickly forgotten. It’s always a shame when a good film doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves. A lot of hard work almost seems wasted.

There are some theories going around as to why its performance in cinemas was less than stellar. Some thoughts include:

  • While Michael Fassbender is undoubtedly a fantastic actor, he may not have the star power to get movie-goers flocking to the screen.
  • The expectation that Aaron Sorkin does the same thing with each new project.
  • The fact that this is the third Steve Jobs film in 16 years, and people have had enough.
  • Consumers love their technology and Apple products but aren’t interested in who created them.
  • The dialogue in the film is fictional and the structure of storytelling is unconventional.

Whatever the case, the film is more or less doomed when it comes to financial success but that doesn’t mean it’s immediately discarded to some filmic wasteland. It’s strong critical rating and the fact it’s a star studded biopic mean it’s still a strong chance of at least being nominated for an Oscar.

Who knows, it might achieve a lot more success in 2016 than it has in 2015.