Entertainment & Arts

Danny Boyle 'disappointed' over Steve Jobs US box office flop

Danny Boyle Image copyright Jeff Overs/BBC
Image caption Boyle says he hopes people will still find the film as those that do 'find it very rewarding'

Director Danny Boyle has told the BBC he is "disappointed" his new film Steve Jobs failed to attract a big audience in the US, after it was dropped from more than 2,000 cinemas there.

Despite a warm critical reception, the biopic - starring Michael Fassbender as Apple co-founder Jobs - has taken just $16.66m (£10.95m) to date in the US.

Released to 2,493 cinema screens on 23 October, it opened in seventh place before being dropped to 421 screens.

Boyle blamed going "too wide too soon".

"It's very disappointing that when it was released wide across America it didn't really work, so it's retreated back now to the main cities," Boyle told BBC Arabic.

"It's very easy in hindsight, but I think it's probably that we released it too wide too soon."

Although Steve Jobs had a limited US release on 9 October, widening out two weeks later, Boyle said he thought distributors "should have built more slowly".

'Genuinely proud'

However the director said he "wouldn't criticise" film company Universal over the release schedule.

"The history of the film is we were dropped by Sony," he explained, "and Universal have been exemplary in the way they've stood up for the film, promoted [it] and supported us throughout the whole process - and I think are genuinely very proud of the film.

"Yeah sure, you might have done it in a different way... But you know, you've got to get on now.

"And actually you hope that people will still find the film - because I think those that do obviously find it very rewarding."

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs with Seth Rogen as co-founder Steve Wozniak

Telling the story of Apple's early days though to the launch of the iMac, Steve Jobs it cost around $30m (£19.5m) to make.

The film took $9.98m (£6.5m) in its opening weekend in the US, rising to a total of $16.66m (£10.95m) last weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

It has failed to repeat the success of writer Aaron Sorkin's hit The Social Network, about the beginnings of Facebook, which opened at number one at the US box office and won three Oscars.

Fassbender's performance had been talked about as a contender for the Academy Awards, but box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian recently told The Hollywood Reporter all was not lost.

He said the film's poor box-office showing "should not impact its Oscar prospects. After all, it's the Oscars, not the People's Choice Awards".

Co-starring Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, the film is the most high-profile of the documentaries and films about the Apple founder since his death in 2011.

They include 2013 film Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher, which was criticised for historical inaccuracies and described as a box office flop after also opening in seventh place.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Fassbender's performance as Jobs has been widely praised

Boyle told the BBC he had built his film "out of respect" for the truth, but added it should be regarded "as a piece of storytelling, not as a piece of literal history".

"Here you entrust Aaron Sorkin and then me and the actors to deliver the truth of this," said Boyle.

"If you want the exact history, there's lots of books you can look at, but if you want the experience of what it felt like to be with this man, then drama's for you and this film's for you."

The director - who is currently working on his Trainspotting sequel - told the BBC it was "good to throw everything up in the air" once in a while, and said he would love to try his hand at a stage musical.

"It's an amazing privilege doing this job... so you should make sure each time you do it you absolutely do it at your limit," he said.

"I'd love to do a musical on stage because I've never done one before. But it would be a terrifying prospect."

Steve Jobs is released in the UK on 13 November.

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