Variety reports that the limited New York City and Los Angeles release of the Steve Jobs biopic racked up impressive numbers over the weekend. The Danny Boyle-directed effort brought in $521,000 for the weekend, giving it a per-theater average of $130,250.
While the overall ticket sales for the Aaron Sorkin-penned effort was good for only sixteenth place overall for the weekend, its per-theater average means it garnered the fifteenth highest PTA in film history.
The film opens in 25 new markets, (60 theaters), on October 16th, and then opens in wide release in 2,000 theaters on October 23rd. Universal believes it’s slow opening strategy will build positive word of mouth for the film.
“By holding back and platforming it in this way, we let the public know what this movie is all about and we generate a hotter ‘want to see’ among audiences,” said Nick Carpou, head of Universal’s domestic distribution operation.
While the film has received largely positive reviews, many of Jobs’ friends, family and co-workers have been less than welcoming to the film’s debut.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against the film and other biographical projects about Jobs, saying they were “opportunistic.” Cook’s remarks sparked a bit of a feud, as screenwriter Aaron Sorkin objected to Cook’s remarks, saying “… if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.” Sorkin later apologized for his remarks.
Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, was reportedly offered a chance to be included in the film’s production, and to be on set, but her disdain for the Walter Isaacson biography – which the biopic is based on – led her to refuse the offer. Powell Jobs also has reportedly not yet seen the film, declining an offer for an advanced showing, under a non-disclosure agreement.
Not all of Jobs’ former colleagues are against the film. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who was a paid consultant on the film, says he believes the filmmakers “did a great job.”