'Steve Jobs' Went "Wide Too Soon," Says Director Danny Boyle

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
'Steve Jobs'

The filmmaker suggested Universal "should have built more slowly" but didn't want to criticize the studio over its release strategy for the film, which has taken less than $17 million to date.

Danny Boyle has spoken out about his latest film Steve Jobs, which despite solid reviews and an early Oscar-buzz has proved a disappointment in the U.S. box office, taking just $16.9 million so far and only just topping the Ashton Kutcher-led 2013 flop, Jobs.

Speaking to the BBC, the British director said he was "disappointed" that the film — which was dropped from 2,400 screens at its widest to 400 screens last weekend — failed to attract the crowds, suggesting the studio's release tactics were at fault.

"It's very easy in hindsight, but I think it's probably that we released it too wide soon," he said.

Steve Jobs proved a hit when it had a limited release in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Oct. 9, taking an average of $130,236 per venue, but flopped when it went wide two weeks later, and Boyle said he thought Universal "should have built more slowly."

But the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire said he "wouldn't criticize" Universal's release schedule, pointing to the "exemplary" way in which the studio had supported the film after it was dropped by Sony.

"I think [they] are genuinely very proud of the film. Yeah sure, you might have done it in a different way ... But you know, you've got to get on now," he added.

Boyle, for whom Steve Jobs is the first film he hasn't developed himself, will next move on to the long-awaited sequel to his 1996 breakout hit Trainspotting. Last month he told The Hollywood Reporter that he was hoping to shoot the film next summer on a budget of under $20 million. 

Steve Jobs is released across the U.K. Nov 13.

Nov. 13, 11:30 a.m. Updated to correct theater count for Steve Jobs