Cheer up, Silicon Valley. People may not love you, but it appears they liked the latest attempt to mock the region’s culture even less.
Last weekend saw the debut of The Circle, a dark satire of Silicon Valley based on the book by Dave Eggers. It had a big-name cast, including Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame and Tom Hanks of Every Movie Ever Made.
Alas, according to critics, it sucks. Rotten Tomato gave it a 17 percent rating. Metacritic gave it 43 out of 100, based on critics’ reviews. Audiences awarded the film a “D+,” according to CinemaScore.
Or, as Will Leitch of The New Republic put it: “The Circle is a big honking sloppy mess of a movie, one that flops around so aimlessly that it’s baffling so many intelligent people had a hand in making it.”
The result is that The Circle finished fourth this week at the box office, with just $9.3 million from 3,163 theaters. As Box Office Mojo wrote, that was “light compared to expectations.” With a production budget of just $18 million, this doesn’t loom as a total catastrophe, but neither is it likely to stay long on the cultural radar.
Still, with that start, it will be a race to see if The Circle can match the Steve Jobs movie, which earned $17.8 million at the U.S. box office. And it has no chance of matching the king of the mini-Silicon Valley-hate genre, The Social Network, which nabbed about $97 million at the U.S. box office.
It seems that for all our fears about Silicon Valley, we’re not all that interested in sitting in a dark theater and paying absurd amounts of money for tickets and stale, over-buttered popcorn to remind us that technology may be destroying the fabric of our lives.
We can do that at home for free.