|Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs|
It has become one of the most gossiped about flops of the Fall. Two weeks after its notoriously underwhelming box office debut, it looks like the worst has finally happened for director Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs movie. The film, once considered to be one of the biggest films of the season, has now been pulled from over 2,000 screens nationwide due to abysmal box office. If this doesn't mark the end of its hold on the Oscar season, then it's definitely going to be one of its strongest detractors.
There's not a lot really to say about what happened to Steve Jobs at this point. Despite having a phenomenal cast and crew, it was always going to be this strange film about one of the 21st century's biggest technological innovators. Even writer Aaron Sorkin has since gone on record of claiming that he didn't have high hopes of this being a runaway hit. Then again, having a film not even be seen by a million people on its opening weekend suggests that it wasn't even going to be a modest success either. While foreign box office has yet to be seen, Steve Jobs will probably go down in history as a "bomb." Not just in the sense that it failed to gain a profit, but also because of today's news of being pulled from 2,000 screens. If a film of this magnitude cannot benefit from word of mouth, then it's doing something wrong.
Which is a shame, because it's genuinely a great film. At the center is Michael Fassbender as Jobs, which is a charismatic performance that reminds us why he's among the best actors of his generation. Along with Sorkin's spot-on script and Boyle's artistic direction, it's a unique tale that illustrates the conflicting nature of artists as an identity and as a human. While I personally think that it's still a story better suited to theater, it's still a compelling film with a lot to offer, thus becoming one of the most ambitious films of the year. While it will likely fade now that it's out of theaters, I do hope that it finds its audience somewhere when it hits home video.
While Steve Jobs still stands some chance of being an Oscar contender, I don't think that it will benefit greatly from the unanimously bad reception it has gotten. I understand those who don't think that it was a good idea, but it's still sad to see a good film go down without a fight. Here's hoping that things pan out and it manages to be more than the cult film that ceremoniously failed before the general public's eyes, whether it be because of its own faults or association with other lackluster adaptations of Jobs' life (I'm looking at you, Ashton Kutcher). Whatever way you look at it, this is sad news that's also going to paint an interesting picture of the road ahead. Who knows how it will do and what films may likely steal its thunder now that it's taboo to admit to liking Steve Jobs.