“West Side Story” Box-Office Goes South

West Side Story Box Office Goes South
20th Century Studios

Musicals have been doing it tough at the box-office in recent times and that trend continues with Steven Spielberg’s high-profile new “West Side Story” adaptation.

Despite a theatrical only launch across 2,800 theaters, and plenty of critical acclaim, the film debuted to a decidedly underwhelming $10.5 million opening weekend domestically – though did snag the top spot.

To put that in perspective, Warners’ less well-known musical “In the Heights” opened to $11.5 million back in June, and that was with a simultaneous HBO Max release potentially cutting into its theatrical box-office play.

‘Heights’ was made for $55 million, only ended up grossing $43.9 million worldwide, and is widely considered a box-office bomb. “West Side Story” has a production budget of around $100 million, a higher profile filmmaker, a more well-known property, and no PVOD option to potentially impact revenue for better or worse. However, its biggest demo appeal, older viewers (especially women), are also the ones still staying away from cinemas.

Overseas, the film debuted to a further $4.4 million – the global $14.9 million total well behind studio projections last week of $25 million. The hope now is for a “Greatest Showman” style scenario with a dud opening weekend heralding a long run leading to a potential sleeper hit. The film’s A CinemaScore suggests it could well have legs, and be a major awards contender.

The only other new nationwide release, football drama “National Champions,” was a serious dud with an estimated weekend opening of $300,000. STX is expected to move it to a PVOD release next month.

Source: THR

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