The Social Network movie review: a $23 million weekend

By Richi Jennings. October 4, 2010.

The Social Network (Columbia Pictures)
The Social Network, the unauthorized biopic about Facebook and its privacy-challenged founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has received its ultimate review: a $23 million opening weekend. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers reflect on what the movie means for geeks and web culture.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Plan 28...

John Schwartz notes the "unflattering portrayal of Zuckerberg":

To many viewers, [he] comes off as a callow, socially inept schemer who misled fellow students ... [and] pushed out a co-founder of the company. With only a few exceptions ... the names have not been changed to mask identities.


Scott Rudin, one of the film’s producers, said ... the filmmakers worked hard at discerning the truth ... and telling it straight. “Where the plaintiffs and defendants don’t agree in life, they don’t agree in the movie.” ... on the movie’s opening day, the staff at the company’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters bought two theaters’ worth of seats to catch an early screening.

Dan Bradley says it's "off to a solid start":

David Fincher's The Social Network pulled in an estimated $23 million in ticket sales from Friday through Sunday. ... [The] drama starring Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker ... should have strong legs ... for several weekends to come.

But Jose Antonio Vargas ain't buying it:

It's a movie that, at its core, stands on one glaring false premise: Zuckerberg as a flat-eyed, borderline autistic, humorless guy. ... The lonely nerd, sitting alone in front of his computer. ... There's something that feels quite dated and very 1990s about all of this. ... Zuckerberg is presented as an alien ... instead of a leading member of an entrepreneurial generation who's grown up with the Internet. ... Zuckerberg's character lacks context.


Zuckerberg, mind you, is no saint. ... But Hollywood's stereotypical portrait of the introverted uber-geek ... is a jarring, disorienting experience. ... A story [of] ... sensationalized scenes of drugs and sex and made-up and heightened friendships and allegiances.

And Jeff Jarvis calls it "the anti-social, anti-geek movie":

The movie gives us an anecdote ... about the Harvard art class Zuckerberg didn’t attend. ... He posted to a web page the images of the art he should have studied, sent an email to his classmates ... and watched as they distilled the essence of each piece. The punchline: Not only did Zuckerberg ace the final but the prof said the class as a whole did better than usual.


A perfect tale of social collaboration, a lesson in wikithink. [But] The Social Network called it cheating. And right there lies the movie’s disconnect ... between the movie and the new world it can’t comprehend.

Yet Gautham Nagesh's glass is half-full:

While some tech observers have questioned ... [the] depiction of ... Zuckerberg specifically and startup types in general, the movie's strong showing is proof that Web startups have finally captured America's attention in a way few would have thought possible just a short time ago.


The movie's budget was reportedly in the range of $50 million. ... Sony is expecting the film to eventually earn roughly $100 million.

And Finally...

Come on! Let's build Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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