Plus: Very earlier predications for the movie "jOBS" have it performing poorly.
As Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans and investors begin to have nostalgia for the days of Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher will bring the former iconic Apple CEO to the big screen later this year. Open Road Films has the movie jOBS set to launch in the US on April 19, the 37th anniversary of Apple's founding.
Yesteday, a brief clip of the biopic began circulating on the Internet. Vanity Fair provided a link to the video featuring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, in the early 1970s. In the scene, Jobs pitches to Wozniak the idea of producing a personal computer for consumers in a parking garage at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), where Wozniak worked in the early 1970s. Wozniak dismisses the idea as absurd.
The film will cover the life of Jobs from 1971 through 2000, and it will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, today.
Intially, I disagreed with Vanity Fair's assestment of the clip and thought Ashton Kutcher just acted and sounded like Ashton Kutcher, especially after viewing speeches given by Jobs. The article says the actor “summon[s] a somewhat convincing Jobs” voice relative to low expectations for Kutchner.
Source: FOUNDUPS Michael Trout
However, most of the videos of Jobs I watched showed a man with more maturity. Upon viewing a speech given by the tech icon in 1980, I changed my mind: Kutcher doesn't do a bad job playing the younger, unpolished Jobs.
Source: Jase Wolf
Josh Gad’s awesome Wozniak hair does take away from Kutcher in the scene, though, as Vanity Fair also points out.
Acting aside, there may be a problem with the scene. Wozniak described the preview as "[t]otally wrong" in an email to Gizmodo. jOBS reverses the roles of the two founders, and he described it as "embarrasing." Part of the email states:
I'm not even sure what it's getting at...personalities are very wrong although mine is closer...don't forget that my purpose was inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club along with ideas of the value of such machines and Steve J. wasn't around and didn't attend the club so he was the one learning about such social impact of the future.
The moviemay throw Wozniak under the bus just to glorify Jobs.
jOBS (clearly) has no connection to the biography Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. Another movie in production to be written by Aaron Sorkin -- who wrote The Social Network about the early days at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- will use the bestselling biography as its foundation. Matt Whiteley wrote the script for jOBS, and Joshua Michael Stern directed it.
With the movie several months off, predications have yet to be made about the film's ticket sales. Hollywood Site Exchange may be viewed as an early indicator, though. The imaginary exchange allows any individual to trade movies and actors as individual stocks with fake “Hollywood dollars." The price of the “MovieStocks” represent how much money people believe the movie will make in its first four weeks at the box office.
It appears people may have had a favorable reaction to the clip and ignored Wozniak as the MovieStock price of jOBS has gone up 1.85 Hollywood dollars to 22.23, an increase of 5.99%.This means the traders in this fictional marketplace anticipate the movie to bring in $22.23 million in its first four weeks.
The studio Five Star Feature Films shot the movie with a budget of approximately $8,500,000. The distributor, Open Road Films, is relatively new, founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC).
It will be interesting to see if the movie becomes an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs, or if jOBS will just be remembered as an indie film featuring Ashton Kutcher. Wozniak's initial reaction doesn't bode well.