The land rush for Steve Jobs biopics may be at an end – Steve Jobs, the latest Oscar-bait contender for telling the story of the man who chained us to smartphones, has been pulled from more than 2,000 US theatres.
This is not as a result of pressure from Jobs’ window, Laurene Powell Jobs, or Apple CEO Tim Cook. Word has been going around that both tried to stop the movie from happening after the biographical book of the same name got their noses in a twist. It is rumoured that Leonardo di Caprio even waved the project after Powell Jobs asked him to do so. Cook had publicly criticized the movie, resulting in a brief war of words where Cook called screenwriter Aaron Sorkin opportunistic and Sorkin accused Cook of using child labour.
But the real reason is that the movie has been a dreadful flop. Thus far it earned just over $16 million – about half its production budget. That is the same as the Ashton Kutcher film, Jobs, but his version was made for around $14 million.
Critics agreed that Steve Jobs, directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), written by the Emmy winning Sorkin (The West Wing, The Newsroom) and starring Oscar-worthy performances by Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen, was much better. Some hoped it would repeat the success of The Social Network, another biopic penned by Sorkin. Even early limited-release buzz said Steve Jobs would do well. Alas, it didn’t and Universal is pulling the plug.
Now speculation is rife on how this will impact the movie’s Oscar chances. Being someone who wouldn’t pee on the Academy Awards if it was on fire while holding my wallet, I don’t care. But this is sure to make for some easy writing among Oscar enthusiasts come January – or whenever they announce the nominees. Like I said, really don’t care.
Anyway, so Steve Jobs has flopped, probably because by now all the fervour around the man has died down. Besides, the best movie about Jobs, in my opinion, remains Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Last Updated: November 10, 2015