Box office earnings of $7.3M a poor result for latest Steve Jobs movie
The national release of Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs is said to have flopped at the box office, based on the first weekend of national release. Despite an extremely promising start on its opening weekend and the wider release over the last two weekends, the biopic has seemingly failed to do well nationally, with the movie bringing in just $7.3 million over the weekend, though Universal executives are apparently upbeat about the film's future.
Release will widen this weekend, Sorkin has 'clear conscience' over artistic licenses
While the Danny Boyle/Aaron Sorkin helmed Steve Jobs has thus far racked up impressive critical acclaim for its tale of Apple's mercurial co-founder, it is -- like some earlier attempts to tell the story of the early days of Silicon Valley -- a creative summary of events rather than a literal retelling of what actually happened. The film has now grossed $2.26 million after slowly rolling out into 60 cinemas, with the full national rollout coming this weekend -- with screenwriter Sorkin saying that while the film takes artistic liberties, it is "fair" to the people involved.
Our favorite Microsoft product ever
If we had a dollar for every time someone stopped us to ask about our review unit Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard, we'd have enough money to buy one. Not one single day has gone by in the last solid month where we haven't been asked. We've interviewed actors who just wanted to know where they could get one. We've planned theater projects with producers who asked if they could just try it for a moment.
Per-Theater Average for Steve Jobs film highest for year so far
The opening weekend of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle's film Steve Jobs is being heralded as a success, based on initial takings reports. Despite launching in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, the dramatic biopic allowed Boyle to achieve his best opening weekend average of all movies in his career so far, as well as having the highest Per-Theater Average (PTA) of any movie released this year.
Film opens in New York, LA; wider release October 16, 23
On the eve of his film Steve Jobs opening in select theaters, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin appeared on the Conan O'Brien show to talk about the film, and got back into the brief dust-up between Cook and Sorkin, who took comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook that biographical pictures about Jobs generally are "opportunistic." The Universal Pictures film, which has garnered strongly positive reviews, has opened in a handful of cinemas in New York and LA, and will roll out to a wider release throughout October.
Another Apple Macintosh veteran endorses Sorkin-Boyle biopic
While the new movie from Universal Pictures, Steve Jobs, has won nearly universal raves from critics and a key endorsement from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who worked as a consultant on the film), it is always interesting to see what other key team members from the early days of Apple think of this latest effort to capture the quixotic nature of both the company's late co-founder. Andy Hertzfeld, the chief architect of the original Mac OS, has weighed in with a qualified endorsement of the film, calling it a "fine" movie that "deviates from reality everywhere" but serves to "expose the deeper truths" about Jobs.
Stop reading now and go buy it
Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.
Big-budget biopic stars Michael Fassbender, will open to public on October 9
(Warning: minor film spoilers are contained in this article) Early reviews of Steve Jobs, the two-hour Danny Boyle-Aaron Sorkin collaboration for Universal Pictures that stars offbeat casting choice Michael Fassbender in the title role, are in and are uniformly positive about the film. The movie presents Apple co-founder and former CEO Jobs as "both an iconic visionary and a monster with a silicon chip where his heart should be," but uses history, Jobs' daughter Lisa, and an ensemble cast to create an "astonishingly brilliant" film that even won raves from another co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak.
Features dialog, snatches of performance from star Michael Fassbender
Universal Studios has released a full-length, two-and-a-half-minute trailer for its upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, which is set to open on October 9 and features Michael Fassbender in the title role, along with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Kate Winslet as Mac marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, and Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, the mother of Jobs' first child, Lisa.
Easy to use, hard to spell, super graphics tool now on iPhone
You've got to say this for OmniGraffle: there aren't many other graffles in the App Store. There also aren't many tools that do what it does, and we've enthused before about OmniGraffle's ability to let the artistically-challenged among us sketch out plans, designs and notes on OS X. There's also been an iPad version, but OmniGraffle 2.1.1 is now a universal app, which means it is now on the iPhone for the first time.
Strong, easy to fit windshield mount for iPhone
Don't get us started on which States let you use a windshield-mounted GPS: it's so complicated, it changes, and anyway by the time we'd listed all the conditions, our UK colleagues will have driven wherever they're going. For the US, we can wait with crossed fingers for a heads-up laser display projected onto the glass. Until then, we're going to argue that having your iPhone mounted up where you can see it is safer than an in-dashboard system you have to keep taking your eyes off the road to see. More, we're going to recommend you use the Montar Universal Car Mount wherever it is safe and legal to do so.
Curses. It's on the iPhone now. How will we get any work done?
Bad news for fellow addicts of the iPad game Sue Doku: it's been updated, and is now a universal app. You do hear that term a lot, and it often isn't explained, so let us clear that up now: a universal app means Sue Doku is now available on both your iPad and iPhone. Translation: distraction. It's just a sudoku app, we can stop playing any time, but it is a particularly well done one on the iPad, and enough so that we sidled back to our desk to quietly pick up our phones and download it immediately.
Universal movie films key iMac launch scenes in San Francisco
The Universal movie about Steve Jobs is continuing its principle photography, and over the weekend filmed scenes revolving around the May 6, 1998 original iMac unveiling. One of three key scenes in the film that cover product launches, the film used extras to show attendees of the keynote from 1998 holding signs and banners welcoming back Steve Jobs, and others to film interior scenes of the original presentation.
Universal said to be in contract negotiations, wants Spotify to weaken free service
Universal Music Group (UMG) wants Spotify to add more limits to its free streaming service, according to reports. The record label is apparently having issues with the freemium music offering and its apparent lack of revenue, and hopes that restricting the number of listens for songs will push Spotify users to the more lucrative paid subscription service.
The official Gmail app gets iOS 8 update, but still needs more
Google has released an update to its universal iOS email app, Gmail 4.0, and it adds good new features that exploit iOS 8. The new features are welcome, and the app is a must-have update if you're a Gmail user.
Fassbender as Jobs, Rogen as Wozniak, Daniels as Sculley spotted
[Updated with October 9 release date] A few photos have emerged from the principle photography that is in progress for the Universal Studios biographical drama Steve Jobs, showing actors Michael Fassbender (as Jobs) and Seth Rogan (as Steve Wozniak), with another photo capturing actor Jeff Daniels portraying former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film, which saw numerous changes and drop-outs while still in pre-production, is filming in and around Cupertino.
Crew sets up garage where Apple Computer was born in 1976
The long-planned and long-awaited "official" biographical movie on Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is finally underway, now in the hands of a different studio, director and star than was originally envisioned. Crews began setting up the former Jobs family home in Los Altos, California to shoot scenes in the famous garage where Apple was officially born on April 1, 1976. Originally developed by Sony, Universal Studios is now in charge of the production.
Would take on 'major' role
Actress Natalie Portman is in negotiations to join Universal's Steve Jobs biopic, according to Deadline. Who she might play is unmentioned, but the role is said to be a "major" one. Given Portman's age and the resemblance, that role is likely to be Lisa, Jobs' first daughter.
Project has seen original director, star, now studio drop out in pre-production
The Sony-backed Steve Jobs biographical movie, based in part on Walter Issacson's biography of the Apple co-founder, has proven to be nearly as mercurial as the reputation of its subject. In recent weeks, not one but two rumored stars of the project have dropped out, the original director was replaced with an Oscar-winning substitute, and now -- according to trade magazine Deadline -- Sony has put the film in "turnaround," offering it to sale to other studios, with Universal said to be making a play for it.
Keyboard works on iOS, Android, Windows, new wireless mice also on the way
Microsoft announced a slate of new accessories with wireless features today, one of which is ready for use with three of the major mobile operating systems. A universal keyboard, wireless mouse, Bluetooth mouse and a PC-ready Xbox One controller are expected to make their way to consumers, starting in the fall.
Company paying for band, Universal's marketing
Apple's giveaway of the latest U2 album cost it over $100 million, sources tell the New York Times. The company is said to have paid the band and its music label, Universal, a blanket royalty fee, and on top of that promised a marketing campaign worth up to $100 million. That includes a worldwide TV campaign, which kicked off with a commercial shown during Apple's livestream on Tuesday.
Theaters to use satellite, terrestrial service for digital film distribution
Five movie studios have signed an agreement with the Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition (DCDC) to distribute films through its satellite network. Disney, Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, and Lionsgate will be using the network as a way to delivery movies and other content to theaters across North America.
Deal expected to complete with little interference by end of 1Q
Comcast has announced today that it is acquiring GE's 49 percent common equity share of the NBCUniversal joint venture. The deal, worth $16.7 billion -- plus $1.4 billion for 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the CNBC headquarters -- will be funded with $11.4 billion in cash, $4 billion of unsecured notes, $2 billion in new debt, and $725 million of stock issued to GE as terms of the agreement.
Agreement blocks Netflix from Universal content
HBO has signed a deal with Universal Studios that extends its exclusive rights to Universal Pictures' and Focus Features' films for another ten years. The extension prevents competing video-on-demand services such as Netflix from gaining access to content, keeping it on HBO's TV, mobile, and online services until the year 2022.
Apple terms leaving record labels 'cold'
Apple is nowhere close to completing a deal with the major record labels for a music streaming service, say music industry sources contacted by CNET. The people say that the terms Apple has been offering for the service, nicknamed "iRadio," have left the labels -- Sony, Warner, and Universal -- unsatisfied. It's believed that even if one side or the other changes its position, it could take a long time to complete agreements.
European Commission approves Universal/EMI deal but requires concessions
The European Commission approved Universal Music's takeover of EMI Music, though it required some concessions. Universal agreed to divest nearly one third of EMI assets, including its Parlophone flagship music label in Europe. There are other stipulations, such as agreeing to a set of market controls that dictate how Universal handles contracts with digital music services.
Lovefilm to stream Universal Pictures films in the UK
Lovefilm has signed a multi-year agreement with NBC Universal to stream Universal Pictures films to its Lovefilm Instant users. The addition of Universal extends the roster of films that currently includes movies from Disney, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Entertainment One, and Studio Canal. The streaming agreement would help the Amazon-owned movie rental company fight off Netflix, which launched in the UK in January.
Depositions by Steve Jobs, Eddy Cue at heart of controversy
Apple is fighting a discovery request in a class action lawsuit brought by musicians like Rick James and Rob Zombie against Universal Music, The Hollywood Reporter reports. Specifically the plaintiffs want access to trial exhibits, expert reports, depositions, and other material from a suit by FBT Productions against UMG subsidiary Aftermath, filed over money owed from music by rapper Eminem. During the case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that FBT was right in saying that a contract between the parties should be read as treating digital music as "licenses" instead of "sales." The dispute is still set to go to trial in the near future.
Hulu steps up original video content
Hulu used its turn at upfronts for TV content to reveal that it was adding four original shows beyond those teased earlier in the year. The strategy would be headlined by The Awesomes, a superhero comedy show due in 2013 that would draw on Saturday Night Live actors Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker. A nearer-term committed show, the 2012 basketball series We Got Next, would have The Game's Hale Rothstein and Kenya Barris along with The Office's Danny Leiner.
Sony to now publish much of EMI music
A group led by Sony on Thursday won its side of a joint bid on EMI assets. The alliance, which includes the Blackstone Group, David Geffen, Mubadala Development, and Raine Group, was cleared by the European Commission to buy EMI's publishing wing for $2.2 billion. The deal is contingent on Sony's group selling off catalog rights for Virgin's European, UK, and US divisions, along with Famous Music UK.
Apple gains a studio for cloud video downloads
Apple edged closer to having a complete iTunes in the Cloud on Saturday with previous holdout Universal adding support. Movies from the studio can now be re-downloaded on any device with an Apple ID, or streamed directly to an Apple TV. The expansion adds hundreds or more videos to those from existing supporters like Sony Pictures.
Good news for BSkyB, deadline extended to July
UK satellite TV service BSkyB was given a reprieve as the Competition Commission pushed back its deadline on ruling that BSkyB's deals with six major Hollywood studios were uncompetitive, according to The Guardian. The government watchdog extended the date of its final ruling to July because it has added Netflix and LoveFilm to its investigation. Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland in January, while LoveFilm recently added a streaming service to its rent-by-mail service.
Fox, Universal, WB tapped for initial deals
HBO is relaxing terms on streaming content to services like iCloud, according to a company spokesman. To attract viewers, the cable network regularly buys exclusive rights to movies; these windows usually start six months after a title's disc release, and persist for roughly a year. HBO's terms frequently prevent movies from being sold online or through video-on-demand services during a window.
iTunes in the Cloud and 3G App Store get new limit
A studio veteran divulged Wednesday that the iTunes in the Cloud access coming hand-in-hand with the new Apple TV and iTunes 10.6 doesn't include Fox and Universal. Either was tangled in HBO deals that gave the premium cable network brief exclusives that conflicted with the re-download rights, AllThingsD heard. HBO confirmed the issue but expected to find "common ground" that would clear full access.
Redbox deal with Universal lasts until mid-2014
While it recently ended its agreement with Warner Bros., budget DVD and Blu-ray rental kiosk operator Redbox has now signed a deal with Universal Studios. The deal extends until August 2014 and keeps the 28-day delay window Redbox had with Warner Bros following a home entertainment release. Redbox and Warner argued about the delay window, with the studio arguing 28 days is too early considering the $1.20 daily rental price for the movies.
YouTube filter makes false positives
YouTube's anti-piracy screening has both come under fire and gotten some relief on Friday. The system is now known from an anecdote at Vice to generate false positives if enough of a song is improperly attributed to the wrong group. When Universal-backed group Yelawolf took a sample from an After the Smoke track and had its adaptation leaked, the Universal takedown claim not only brought down the Yelawolf leak but the original track the sample came from.
Megaupload may skip Universal for individuals
Megaupload's lawsuit opposing a takedown of a promo video may have taken an unusual turn. The company was claimed by a Hollywood Reporter source with access to the case to have dropped Universal, which orchestrated the takedown, from the suit. Only a number of unnamed people who had participated in the takedown remained.
Anonymous carpet bombs Megaupload opponents
(Update: FBI too) The forced closure of Megaupload and accompanying arrests may have backfired on proponents after Anonymous launched one of its largest attacks ever in retaliation. Multiple statements from the hacking collective confirmed they were responsible for successful denial of service attacks against the websites of the Department of Justice, MPAA, RIAA, and likely arrest instigator Universal Music. All of the sites were partly or completely unresponsive as of early Thursday evening.
Megaupload forced closed
Megaupload's troubles were magnified Thursday after word emerged that it has been shut down by Federal prosecutors in Alexandria. The site is currently inaccessible. Reports have also emerged that company staff have charged with violating piracy laws, allegedly contributing to $500 million of lost revenue.
Hosting services protected from liability
A federal appellate court today upheld a lower district court ruling that the safe harbors created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) did protect video hosting site Veoh from copyright liability. The case originated in 2007 when the Universal Music Group sued Veoh for allegedly allowing the site's users to upload protected Universal music videos. Ironically, Veoh filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010, in part due to the financial burden of defending itself against the charges.
Sony, Warner join in on Grooveshark lawsuit
Sony Music and Warner Music have now joined the copyright infringement lawsuit Universal Music started against online music service Grooveshark. The lawsuit was first filed in November and alleges that Grooveshark execs uploaded copies of songs to which they didn't have rights and thus broke the DMCA. The lawsuit was also amended with a detail that claims Grooveshark knew it needed a license for the material it offers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Universal pulled video under private YouTube deal
The argument between Universal Music Group and Megaupload over a YouTube-hosted music video from earlier this week has raised some new issues. UMG now claims that it had the right to take down the video from YouTube not under the DMCA but rather thanks to a private contract with YouTube, Ars Technica revealed on Friday. If this holds up, it could bring a dangerous precedent, as the deal would effectively get around the DMCA's abuse protection.
Sony wants live Internet TV for PS3, TVs, players
Sony may be in an unintentional race with Apple to bypass the limits of traditional TV providers for its own live TV service, multiple sources might have disclosed on Tuesday night. The electronics giant is believed by the Wall Street Journal to be talking to media firms to get rights for streaming TV channels. The focus would be on Sony's own devices, ranging from Blu-ray players through to TVs and the PS3.
Google music store event may go minus Sony, Warner
Google's November 16 music event is still likely to see it go without some potentially critical deals. Follow-up details reportedly slipped to AllThingsD still had Sony and Warner holding out and unlikely to reach a deal in five days. EMI was the only certain prospect, and Universal was very likely, but not certain.
EMI publishing, music to be sold off separately
(Update: confirmed) Citigroup is splitting EMI in two for a sale that's about to be imminent, according to claims Friday. Pointing to sources, the Wall Street Journal's Dana Cimilluca said that the publishing wing, EMI Music Publishing, would be sold off to a Sony consortium for $2.2 billion. The pure music label would go to Universal for $1.9 billion.
Google music shop may be days away
A handful of more details about Google's music store may have emerged on Monday. The service is now thought by unofficial WSJ sources to be going live within the next two weeks, and possibly this week. "At least two" major labels are unlikely to have signed on, however, with only EMI probably onboard and Universal in discussions that might not make the release date.
TWC defies theaters with same-day movies
Time Warner Cable's On Demand movie streaming service claimed a rarity Friday by offering movies the same day as they appeared in theaters. Both Trespass and Marginal Call are arriving on the same day as they appear in theaters, starting today for Trespass and a week later for its equivalent. A third movie, Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, is already available even though it won't be in US theaters until November 11.
Universal backs off of same-as-theater rental plan
Universal has quietly dropped its plans for $60 same-day-as-theaters movie rentals. The test, which would have started with the November 4 release of Tower Heist, was shelved after movie theater chains threatened to withdraw the regular movie. It would have had minimal impact with just Atlanta and Portland having the option.
Universal to trial $60 rental of Tower Heist
Comcast, the parent company of Universal Pictures, is testing a new premium home movie rental concept that will see customers being able to rent a film that is currently screening only in theaters. However, there will be a catch for the privilege – a $60 price tag. The test will center on the new Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist that is due November 4.
iTunes Replay may be months off
Talk of iTunes Replay bringing cloud movie streaming might have come too soon. Insiders claimed Monday that Apple didn't have deals with at least four of six major movie studios. Any deal would be months off at best, CNET was told.