"Steve Jobs," the biopic about the late Apple co-founder and CEO of the same name, raked in a whopping $521,000 after its limited release in just four New York and Los Angeles theaters over the weekend. The movie's average take of $130,236 per theater made it the highest grossing early release so far this year, and the record-breaking initial box office numbers could pave the way for a lucrative wide release.
Aaron Sorkin of "West Wing" and "The Newsroom" fame, among many other TV hits, wrote the movie, which was directed by Danny Boyle and stars Michael Fassbender. The film follows the meteoric rise of Steve Jobs, who went from starting Apple in his garage to changing the face of personal technology with such products as the Mac computer, the iPhone and the iPod. At the time of his death, Jobs was worth an estimated $10 billion.
The film has been the subject of some controversy, since Jobs was notoriously difficult to work with, and his close friends claimed the movie painted him in an unflattering light. Boyle's depiction of Jobs blends fact with fantasy in a new genre of film called impressionistic biopic, a style that creates a portrait of a person while openly weaving in fake or exaggerated anecdotes for dramatic effect.
— The Verge (@verge) October 6, 2015
Controversy can drive box office sales; experimental biopics, though, could prove a losing gamble when it comes to a man as well known as Jobs. One film industry analyst for Forbes magazine said that a wildly successful early release did not always indicate equally lucrative box office numbers for the general release, though it was generally an accurate indicator. "[Any] film that gets to $100k p.s.a. in [its] limited debut is probably looking at at least $45-$50m in the end, provided nothing extreme happens in either direction," wrote Scott Mendelson for Forbes Sunday.
The film is set to be released in 60 theaters the weekend of Oct. 16, and it will then be released in theaters nationwide Oct. 23.