Open Road Picks Up 'jOBS' Film Prior to Sundance for 2013 Release
Is this already the first big sale of Sundance, two weeks before Sundance even begins? Open Road Films is reportedly jumping on the Steve Jobs biopic film jOBS, which will premiere late at the festival in January, and acquiring the film in a deal well before the film festival starts. Originally mentioned on Deadline, the acquisition has been confirmed by Variety, where they say that Open Road is "in advanced negotiations" to distribute the film, and will put it out as wide as possible through AMC and Regal. Ashton Kutcher stars in the film as the late Steve Jobs, innovator and co-founder of Apple, focusing on his life over many years.
Variety states that producers will pay for the "P&A", while Open Road "will receive a distribution fee to give "Jobs" a wide theatrical release via its network of AMC and Regal cinemas" likely in the second half of 2013. Deadline states producers are putting up "$10 million in P&A to release", which means this is going to get quite a good indie marketing job. The filmmakers were apparently "determined to get the film into theaters", which is indeed where a Steve Jobs biopic belongs, especially after a Sundance premiere. Joshua Michael Stern directs a script by Matt Whiteley with Kutcher starring as Jobs, along with Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, including James Woods, Dermot Mulroney, Matthew Modine, Lukas Haas & J.K. Simmons.
So far, on the marketing side of things, we've only seen the one first look photo released. But I expect the marketing/publicity to kick up with the festival coming up, and if they're planning a spring release, now is the time to start building interest in the first Steve Jobs narrative movie since his passing. We're definitely planning to catch this at the festival later this month and will keep you updated on the film in the meantime.
Update: Open Road Films has confirmed the deal via press release, stating they've partnered with Five Star Feature Films to release it in theaters. "We set out to find the perfect partners to present jOBS to audiences worldwide, and we feel we have found one with Open Road. They were as impressed as we were with Ashton Kutcher's inspiring and unforgettable performance as Steve Jobs and are excited to distribute the picture in the U.S.," states Mark Hulme of Five Star Films. jOBS will be released in April 2013. Stay tuned.