Universal drops Steve Jobs movie from thousands of theaters after poor box office results

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
Tepid interest from moviegoers has led Universal to pull the Danny Boyle-helmed film chronicling the life of Apple's late cofounder from more than 2,000 theaters, leaving the picture on only a few hundred domestic screens.




The total number of outlets screening the film in the U.S. dropped to just 421 over the weekend, according to numbers compiled by Box Office Mojo. That represents a decline of 2,072 theaters from its previous wide distribution.

The movie, featuring Michael Fassbender in the titular role, has grossed just over $16 million to date. It cost more than $30 million to make, with advertising and promotion likely adding millions on top of that figure.

The relative flop comes despite generally positive critical reviews. Oscar nods were tipped for stars Fassbender and Kate Winslet following the movie's debut, but those conversations have since died down.

AppleInsider's own review found the movie to be a "humanizing, honest and emotional portrayal" of Jobs, if not entirely historically accurate.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    Aaron Sorkin's fan fiction about the live of the real Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    irelandireland Posts: 17,668member
    Not to mention theatres make half that money so that's about 8 million towards say 35 to 40 million or so. Still needs to make another 60 million to break even. Movie costs have gotten out of hand.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 916member

    I did not expect it to do well anyway. History Channel special, CNBC special, maybe even a network TV movie, but the general public is not going to pay big screen prices to see a biopic about some rich nerd. I suspect it will get a fair number of views on Netflix.

     

    I hope those involved with making it had a good time and got a decent paycheck.

  • Reply 4 of 65
    h2ph2p Posts: 268member

    (caveat) Saw the trailers... won't see the film until Netflix or cable.

    ...What's this with the Wozniak character asking Jobs "What do you do!?!"...

    ...What's with the scream the "you stole the operating system!"

     

    Anyway, I must be a traditionalist wanting a regular bio-pic. Boring, I suppose.

  • Reply 5 of 65
    elmoofoelmoofo Posts: 100member
    Can we just leave the man, his family, and his fans alone now?
  • Reply 6 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

     

    I did not expect it to do well anyway. History Channel special, CNBC special, maybe even a network TV movie, but the general public is not going to pay big screen prices to see a biopic about some rich nerd. I suspect it will get a fair number of views on Netflix.

     

    I hope those involved with making it had a good time and got a decent paycheck.


    Agreed. It's just not a general interest film.

  • Reply 7 of 65
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,480member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post



    Not to mention theatres make half that money so that's about 8 million towards say 35 to 40 million or so. Still needs to make another 60 million to break even. Movie costs have gotten out of hand.



    Actually, in the U.S., in the opening weeks of a film, the theatre gets as little as 5%.  Each week the film plays they get a little more.   It used to be that in big movie markets, like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago, the studios would guarantee the theater's "nut" - the basic costs of operation.   When Variety still published weekly movie grosses for major first-run theaters, they would include how much the 'nut' was as well.  

     

    Movie theaters are concession stands that happen to show movies - not the other way around.   It's amazing they still exist especially considering that most movies only play a few weeks these days.   It's not like when Star Wars was first released in 1977 and a popular film could play in theaters for a year (or before that for roadshow films like "West Side Story" and "Lawrence of Arabia"). 

  • Reply 8 of 65
    In other words, stop screwing with Steve Jobs' legacy.
  • Reply 9 of 65

    It's a tad too late. Besides it should've been historically accurate, no one wants to watch theatre in a documentary.

  • Reply 10 of 65

    It was crazy to think that this was a good movie idea.  Give me a documentary Netflix original or something...it would need to be based on facts.  That would be interesting.  I am fairly passionate about tech history but had no interest in going to this movie.

  • Reply 11 of 65
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,480member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Personally can't wait till the day movie theaters are just a niche thing and that movies come out on Bluray/STream the same day as the theaters.


     

    Which will probably happen, but will then kill the movie business as we know it for once and for all.   Movies get their reputation and perceived importance from the theatrical run.   Sign on to one of the streaming services and look at all the crap movies on there (the vast majority) that mostly look like clones of either better or more popular movies.  Most look like the low-budget movies that used to be sold to small foreign markets, drive-ins and grind houses.   That's what the whole business will become once the revenue is lost from theatrical distribution.  Budgets will collapse.  Now that's not necessarily totally a bad thing as smaller, more intimate films will get made as opposed to all the comic book movies of today, but it will still be a major change for the business that could destroy it, as the major studios are only in it for the blockbuster returns. 

     

    Also, as much as I personally love Blu-ray, it's been a market failure.   Year-to-date in the U.S., it still only has a 21% physical market unit share and only a 32% revenue share AND it's down 10.22% for the year in revenue and 9.1% in units after finishing 2014 being down 7.97% in revenue and 5.22% in units as compared with 2013.  And as a result, we've seen fewer releases, restorations, new special features, special packaging and still many films never released on BD.

     

    Also, most consumers do not have decent playback in their homes.   Only a tiny minority of consumers even have 5.1 capability in their homes, never mind 7.1 or the new immersive sound systems like Dolby Atmos.   And even those who collect Blu-rays watch them on uncalibrated TVs. The theatrical experience, in spite of rude audiences and sometimes sticky floors, is still the far superior experience in most cases, even if Generation Z is perfectly happy watching a movie on a 4" screen .   It would be a shame to see the theatrical experience disappear.   

     

    Having said all that, many movie executives agree with you.   They want day-and-date because they see that as a way to reduce marketing costs and improve cash flow.   But they're all in it for the short run, since they're all only concerned with the next quarter, getting their bonus/stock options and keeping their job.    And it's not like the windows are a year or more, like they used to be.   Movies now show up on streaming services and Blu-ray as little as 90 days after theatrical premiere.   

  • Reply 12 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     



    Actually, in the U.S., in the opening weeks of a film, the theatre gets as little as 5%.  Each week the film plays they get a little more.   It used to be that in big movie markets, like Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago, the studios would guarantee the theater's "nut" - the basic costs of operation.   When Variety still published weekly movie grosses for major first-run theaters, they would include how much the 'nut' was as well.  

     

    Movie theaters are concession stands that happen to show movies - not the other way around.   It's amazing they still exist especially considering that most movies only play a few weeks these days.   It's not like when Star Wars was first released in 1977 and a popular film could play in theaters for a year (or before that for roadshow films like "West Side Story" and "Lawrence of Arabia"). 


    I agree, theaters don't make hardly anything off of ticket sales, they make their money off of concessions.  This article states that it was Universal's decision to pull the movie from 2k theaters, but I thought this was the other way around.  I always thought it was the theaters that decided how long a they ran a movie.  In this case, the theaters have decided to stop wasting a screen on a movie no one wants to see.

  • Reply 13 of 65
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Creek0512 View Post

     

    This article states that it was Universal's decision to pull the movie from 2k theaters, but I thought this was the other way around. 


    Since Universal has to guarantee the 'nut' as @zoetmb says, they are losing money and the theatre is breaking even.

  • Reply 14 of 65

    This is great. Perhaps this will be the last movie about Steve Jobs for a while.

  • Reply 15 of 65
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,280member
    It was crazy to think that this was a good movie idea.  Give me a documentary Netflix original or something...it would need to be based on facts.  That would be interesting.  I am fairly passionate about tech history but had no interest in going to this movie.

    Exactly my position on this thing. It was indeed opportunistic. If it loses money, great.

    And how does it cost THAT much to make THIS? Is there a huge special effects action sequence I'm unaware of??
  • Reply 16 of 65

    I am happy that -- after some commiseration -- I skipped the movie, and the fact that there must have been millions like me, leading to its demise.

     

    I do feel badly for Fassbender, whose work I admire tremendously. (Sorkin and Boyle are badly overrated, to use a Trumpism).

  • Reply 17 of 65
    jasenj1 wrote: »
    I did not expect it to do well... the general public is not going to pay big screen prices to see a biopic about some rich nerd.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=socialnetwork.htm
  • Reply 18 of 65
    Not surprising. I'm not sure I'd have gone even if a local theater had offered me a free ticket. Steve is interesting, but not that interesting, particularly a film that shows his unpleasant dark side.

    Like others, I'll just wait until the movie is available online, preferably for free.
  • Reply 19 of 65
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member

    A film based on the worst of 2 worlds and now that'll bite them in the ass for the tune of about 30 million.

     

    Don't make stuff up when the actual story is more interesting.

  • Reply 20 of 65
    One problem typical Hollywood has is they take substantial liberties with the truth and call it creative license, when it is anything but creative. Not only this Steve Jobs movie, but Enigma about Alan Turing and Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking are abominations as to the important, facinatiing ideas and characters of these individuals (despite the breathtaking portrayal of Hawking by Eddie Redmayne).

    Being creative means taking the truth, the key and important ideas, very difficult to portray, and making it understandable to an audience of non-experts. Instead, Hollywood falls back to the only thing they know -- sex, good vs evil, conflict. As such, Hollywood is anything but creative.
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