Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs seemed poised for success, coming off strong reviews and a limited theatrical release that delivered the best per-theater average of the year at the time. But when the film went into wide release last month, it opened in seventh place at the box office and has since had its theater count quickly reduced. So, what happened? Boyle has some guesses as to why the film didn’t work on a bigger scale.
“It’s very easy in hindsight, but I think it’s probably that we released it too wide too soon,” Boyle told the BBC, though he credited Universal, the film’s distributor, with believing in the film despite its turbulent history, having been dropped by Sony Pictures.
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“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 said, noting the loss of about 2,000 theaters for the film. Since opening on Oct. 9, Steve Jobs has made only about $17 million, around $7 million of which was made in its first weekend of wide release.
“And actually you hope that people will still find the film — because I think those that do obviously find it very rewarding,” Boyle said.
Steve Jobs wasn’t the only October release to disappoint at the box office. The Sandra Bullock-led Our Brand Is Crisis and Bradley Cooper-starring Burnt closed out the month on the last in a series of low notes that included Jobs‘ underwhelming performance. For more from Boyle read his full interview with the BBC.