Apple Inc. (AAPL), Sony Corporation (ADR) (SNE): Steve Jobs Is About to Be Punk’d by a Butler

For me, Jobs, which opens in 2,000 theaters nationwide next weekend, is as Rule Breaking an endeavor as the film’s subject: the late Steve Jobs‘ role in the founding, rise, fall, and resurgence of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).


Ashton Kutcher as the late Steve Jobs. Photo credit: Open Road Films.

Take the biopic’s U.S. distributor, Open Road Films. Anything but a normal studio, Open Road is the result of a 2011 team-up of AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC). By contrast, Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) marketed and distributed The Social Network, a similar biopic of Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg that earned $224 million worldwide on a $40 million production budget. Oh, and eight Oscar nominations and three wins.

Open Road has neither the marketing muscle nor the brand power to push Jobs to a wide release. Yet Jobs might have paid off for AMC and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) — and the film’s producers — if audiences and critics were interested in seeing it.

Turns out they aren’t.

According to Google‘s Trends data, Jobs trails The Butler, a historical drama from The Weinstein Company with a high-profile cast. Not all that surprising when you look at last year’s Best Picture contenders.

Jobs isn’t likely to make this year’s list. According to movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, only 43% of critics who have screened the film like it. Investors should nevertheless take note. That there’s a film at all speaks to how transcendent the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) story has become.

Actually, there’s more than one. Writer Aaron Sorkin is behind a separate project that’s based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak, who’s already panned Jobs the film, is consulting on the project.

Expect Sorkin’s take to be darker than Jobs, and possibly reflective of today’s Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) — the one Jobs left behind. A company that’s aggressively pursuing the post-PC opportunity even as competitors work to loosen its grip on the smart-device market.

That Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has underperformed over the past year. So far, Jobs appears as if it’ll do the same in the year to come.

The article Steve Jobs Is About to Be Punk’d by a Butler originally appeared on and is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim’s Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple, Facebook, and Google.

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