Steve Jobs, the highly anticipated biopic starring Michael Fassbender as Apple Inc.’s enigmatic co-founder and CEO, has made its box office debut and is surprising Hollywood analysts with its low numbers. After a successful limited release, Universal Pictures expanded the film’s release to over 2400 theaters, but only made back a lackluster $7.3 million in tickets sales this weekend.
Hollywood analysts had earlier predicted an opening weekend of anywhere between $15 to $20 million, and the film itself is reportedly budgeted at $30 million.
The low numbers have been attributed to the other heavy box office contenders that Steve Jobs has been forced to compete with. The Martian, 2oth Century Fox’s sci-fi smash hit, dominated the box office this weekend at $15.9 million dollars. Since its release earlier this month, The Martian has made a whopping $166 million at the box office in the U.S. alone, trailing closely behind is Goosebumps, which made $15.5 million, and Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies,which sat at $11.3 million.
These numbers place Steve Jobs in seventh place at the box office.
Despite its low box office drive, Steve Jobs has been well-received by critics and is garnering some Oscar buzz with two previous winners, director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, managing the project. The film was also graded an “A-” by moviegoers at CinemaScore, and has received an 85 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes.
Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analysts at Rentrak, says that the biopic’s low box office rating is unsurprising, stating that “often sophisticated, intellectually charged movies like Steve Jobs have a tough time gaining huge acceptance by a general audience.” He went on to praise the film’s quality and argue that it “will have solid playability, though at more of a marathoners pace.”