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'Steve Jobs' movie rings up big box office returns

Despite objections about the film from people close to the Apple co-founder, the Jobs biopic draws crowds to the four theaters that showed it this weekend.

Michael Fassbender stars in "Steve Jobs." Universal Pictures

"Steve Jobs" the movie is already off to a strong start.

The biopic on Apple's famous co-founder officially premiered this past weekend in only four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. It took in an average of more than $130,000 per theater, Vanity Fair reported on Sunday, better than any other film released so far this year.

Based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of Jobs, "Steve Jobs" was directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Michael Fassbender. It focuses on key phases in Jobs' life, including the first Mac computer in 1984, the introduction of the NeXT computer in 1988 and the launch of the iMac in 1998. It also delves into relationships with his daughter Lisa, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and former Apple CEO John Sculley.

The movie is controversial. Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, reportedly lobbied both Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures to quash the film, allegedly telling producer Scott Rudin how much she disliked Isaacson's bio, "and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate." A spokesman for Powell Jobs declined CNET's request to comment on that report.

Other people who knew or worked with Jobs have also criticized the film, though not necessarily having seen it. Apple design guru Jony Ive, who hadn't watched the film, said he was concerned by the way someone's life story can be . And on an appearance on , Apple CEO Tim Cook said: "I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this."

The film has been reviewed positively for its acting, innovative storytelling approach and more. It's also been criticized for departing too far from reality, with key scenes and moments completely fictionalized. Even screenwriter Sorkin has acknowledged that the movie is not meant to be true to life, calling it "a painting, not a photo."

Despite the criticisms, the movie clearly has generated enough buzz for an early score at the box office among limited-release films. Among last year's films initially released on a limited scale, only four earned more than $100,000 per theater, and each of those snagged best picture nominations, with all four combined nabbing 32 Oscar nominations overall, Vanity Fair said.

"Steve Jobs" will land in more than 60 theaters this coming weekend starting October 16 and then open nationwide October 23, according to Vanity Fair.