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Steve Jobs movie: grosses $2.26M to date, Sorkin says “conscience is clear” over artistic liberties


The Sorkin/Boyle Steve Jobs movie has grossed $2.26M to date, reports Deadline, as it rolled out to a further 56 theaters over the weekend. The movie had earlier achieved the highest average earnings per theater of any movie this year on its opening weekend.

The limited rollout to a total of just 60 theaters meant it didn’t earn enough to make the top 10, headed by Goosebumps – which was on show at 3,500 locations.

While the movie has been criticized by some for the artistic liberties taken with the truth, with even Steve Wozniak and key system software designer Andy Hertzfeld saying that almost nothing shown really happened like that, scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin defended the movie at a London press conference … 

Speaking at last night’s European premiere, the Guardian reports that Sorkin said that the format used was “plainly a writer’s conceit,” but still conveyed larger truths.

“Steve Jobs did not, as far as I know, have confrontations with the same six people 40 minutes before every product launch,” he said, during a press conference. “That is plainly a writer’s conceit. But I do think that the movie gets at some larger truths, some more important truths than what really went on during the 40 minutes before product launches, which I don’t think was the stuff of drama. What you see is a dramatisation of several personal conflicts that he had in his life, and they illustrate something, they give you a picture of something. Are they fair? I do believe they’re fair. My conscience is clear.”

John Sculley, who had earlier said that the movie depicted only one aspect of the man, told the Guardian that the dialog attributed to Jobs was true to the spirit, if not literally true.

While [the dialogue] may not have been the exact words that were spoken, it represented the kind of dialogue that said ‘yes, that’s that person’.

The rollout of the movie completes on Friday, when it will go on show at theatres nationwide.

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  1. His “conscience is clear” about it being “opportunistic” now that he has made $2.26M from it. Classic. He would have been better off just keeping his mouth shut regarding the prior kerfuffle.

  2. Paul Douglas - 7 years ago

    I saw it at the Gala Parallel Screening for the London Film Festival last night, and I think it’s a pretty fair portrayal. It’s quite obviously heavily dramatised in the Sorkin style, but it’s a fairly sympathetic portrayal without glossing over some of the less attractive characteristics of Jobs. The only real shortcoming to speak of is that the movie ends in 1998 and therefore doesn’t show much of the last chapter of Jobs’s life and the key relationships therein (Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Phil Schiller, Scott Forstall). But that’s probably because it’s based on Isaacson’s book, which glosses over that period in a whirl as if rushed to get to the end.

    The movie at least is a cohesive whole, entertaining and emotionally authentic for all its divergence from actual reality. It also has a surprisingly engaging portrayal of Jobs’s relationship with John Sculley which is something which hasn’t been explored in particular depth in past movies.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      I perhaps would have more interest in this movie if it was completely fictional. But it’s not. It would be difficult watching a scene of Jobs and Woz knowing the dialogue was completely made up and never happened. He easily could have made a completely fictional movie based on the characteristics of Steve Jobs.

      • rwanderman - 7 years ago

        So I guess you skipped Ghandi, A Beautiful Mind, All the President’s Men, American Sniper, Apollo 13, Argo, Awakenings, Fair Game, Frost/Nixon, Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln, My Left Foot, October Sky, The Blind Side, etc.

        All of these are dramatizations based on real people and real events, some of them written by the very people depicted but all with screenplays that do essentially the same thing that Sorkin did with Steve Jobs (the movie): build a dramatic narrative.

      • Paul Douglas - 7 years ago

        What would the point in that be?

  3. Howie Isaacks - 7 years ago

    Why such a limited release? I don’t consider this to be a successful movie if they’re going to hold it back like this.

  4. tincan2012 - 7 years ago

    Sorkin is talented – there is no doubt. IMO he may pay a reputation ‘price’, as it will remain as a permanent reminder of how much liberty he willing to take with ‘the greater truth’ to sell a film. He portrays this as an artistic impression of Jobs, but many will always regard it as the movie version of ‘click bait.

  5. mrobertson21 - 7 years ago

    Can we stop acting like a movie has to be 100% accurate in order to be considered good? Some of you act like you knew Steve Jobs better than Aaron Sorkin did. You didn’t. Shut up and either watch the movie or don’t.

    • louiethelug72 - 7 years ago

      You Nailed It….Amen..!!!

    • tincan2012 - 7 years ago

      Funny but if people’s comments here bother you so much, you could just not read them or ‘shut up’ yourself.
      But I agree with your sentiment that the discussion about this movie is getting very stale and needs to end.

    • rogifan - 7 years ago

      Then why didn’t he just make a completely fictional movie loosely based on someone like Steve Jobs? And call it something else. That would have been more successful than making stuff up about Steve Jobs life.

      • mrobertson21 - 7 years ago

        That’s not really how movies work. Factual inaccuracy in the name of interesting storytelling is a tradition that predates moving picture. We all do it every day when we talk about that monster fish we caught last weekend.

        The fact is that the movie strikes a chord with the Apple blog commentariat because Jobs had a life we hold dear to our hearts. We think we knew Jobs well because he made lots of products that we use in our daily lives. That’s totally fine! All I’m asking is for us to stop acting like this movie is the first to take liberties. It’s not.

    • rwanderman - 7 years ago

      Brilliant comment.

      Amazing how something like this brings out the Apple Taliban (and I’m a long time Apple loyalist who did meet Steve Jobs).

      • “I’m a long time Apple loyalist who did meet Steve Jobs”

        Is that supposed to impress people, or do you want others to believe that you knew Steve Jobs well enough to believe that the movie is accurate?

        ” the Apple Taliban”

        And so you imply that Steve Jobs was like Mullah Mohammed Omar (leader of the Taliban)? That comment makes your “I’m a long time Apple loyalist” appear to be completely dishonest!

  6. Victor (@torrent82) - 7 years ago

    I saw the movie premiered last night from London Film Festival. People who expect this movie to be a replica of what actually happen, need to think again before they go see it to avoid disappointment. The movie was really well made. It’s meant to point out that Steve Jobs had his personal problems, that he wasn’t just that “perfect visionary” that everyone else saw at the keynotes and that’s it. It must be taken with a grain of salt and understand that certain things were overly dramatized just for the cinematic effect otherwise the whole movie would have been a bunch of drivel. I don’t think they covered the later years because showing him die or struggle with cancer would be in poor taste and it would put viewers off. I think this is the best Steve Jobs movie made and that this needs to be the end of Steve Jobs movies. It’s been four years now. Let the man rest!

  7. AeronPeryton - 7 years ago

    If you have to say it, it isn’t.

  8. Isn’t “my conscience is clear” something that a sociopath would say?


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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