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Steve Jobs movie disappoints on opening weekend

Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s latest film, Steve Jobs, has bombed at the box office, earning just $7.3 million on its opening weekend in the U.S.

The biopic of Apple’s late CEO received high praise from critics during its pre-release tour of film festivals, but suffered an underwhelming public launch – and that’s being kind. Over the last weekend it ranked a disappointing seventh in the U.S. box office charts.

It’s estimated that the film would need to earn around $120 million just to break even after expensive production and marketing costs. Variety conclude that Steve Jobs  is “a brilliant film and a bad bet,” picking out a few reasons why the biopic has failed to reach a wide audience.

Firstly, though the film has been compared to another Sorkin-penned biopic The Social Network, Steve Jobs as subject matter is more familiar – and perhaps less engaging – to audiences than Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg was back in 2010. Whereas the Social Network was launched to commercial success on the back of massive Facebook growth and a general ignorance of the company’s origin story, Jobs’ past has been overanalyzed somewhat in the last few years. Multiple biographies and two other films have focused on the Jobs story already.

They also believe that a bigger A-list actor in the lead role could have increased the film’s mass appeal. Michael Fassbender’s performance has been lauded by critics as potentially Oscar-worthy, but he doesn’t quite have the pulling power of Leonardo di Caprio or Christian Bale, two actors who reportedly turned down the role before Fassbender was selected.

The general consensus seems to be that’s Steve Jobs is definitely worth a watch, but it will take a minor miracle to turn a profit at this point. Analyst Jeff Bock thinks there was an “over-inflated” sense of how well the film could do – and that “its only chance now is to gain awards traction.” Word of mouth and a series of Oscar nominations could be enough to give the film a surge in a few months time.

Read more: Steve Jobs family and friends skeptical of movie