Steve Jobs, the highly anticipated bio of the late Apple giant, opened Friday in limited release. Even though the film is only playing in four theaters in Los Angeles and New York, the film may be primed for a record box office launch and, if estimates hold, may give distributor Universal Pictures bragging rights to the largest per-screen average opening launch of 2015. As of now, Steve Jobs looks to be the largest limited release opener since American Sniper opened last Christmas.
On Friday, Steve Jobs earned an estimated $175,000, nabbing a huge $43,000 per screen. If estimates hold, the film may bring in upwards of $500,000 over the weekend, with a per screen average of nearly $140,000. Those numbers would easily put Steve Jobs ahead of 2015’s top limited openings of the year- as of now Sicario leads with $401,288 ($66,881 per screen average) and Ex Machina is in second place with an opening haul of $237,264 ($59,316 per screen). Box office, as least on the more specialty/limited side has been fairly soft this year so Steve Jobs‘ performance is particularly impressive.
Of course, interest in the film is understandable. The film gained a certain infamy as a result of the Sony e-mail hack last winter- Steve Jobs was set up at Sony before transferring over to Universal. Then there’s the pedigree both behind and in front of the camera in director Danny Boyle (Oscar winner for Slumdog Millionaire), screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (Oscar winner for The Social Network) and stars Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Kate Winslet (The Reader), Seth Rogen (The Interview) and Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale). More so, the enthusiastic reaction the film received at the Telluride and New York film festivals and in general largely favorable reviews have put Steve Jobs in the thick of the awards conversation.
Universal originally was going to bow Steve Jobs wide on October 9th, but decided to platform the release. Next weekend, the film will expand in additional North American markets followed by wide opening on October 23rd.