Box Office: ‘West Side Story’ Underwhelming With $10 Million Opening

West Side Story from 20th Century Studios got off to a slow start at the domestic box office. Steven Spielberg’s musical brought in $4.1 million at 2,820 locations on Friday. Although West Side Story was quiet Thursday night, raising just $800,000 in previews, box office analysts stayed true to the film’s original expectations of bringing in $10 to $15 million during its opening weekend. Now, it looks like the numbers will likely fall near the lower end of this estimate, even if they are within it.

While the opening at around $10 million won’t spell the fate of “West Side Story,” it shouldn’t feel like an auspicious first step for production companies Amblin Entertainment and TSG Entertainment. The Spielberg musical cost $100 million to produce and more to promote, a huge budget the release now hopes to balance by attracting international audiences and making impressive bookings during the festive season.

A respectable box office performance over the next few weeks is sure to fall within the musical’s potential. The film evoked glowing views, with diverseOwen Gleiberman wrote that “there are scenes in Spielberg’s version that will melt you in, scenes that will make your heart beat fast and scenes where you can sit back and enjoy the spirited grandeur of it all.” “West Side Story” has garnered a lot of attention with several groups of critics and award bodies, including the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, and is expected to be a major contender during this year’s awards season. What’s more, the musical has received a coveted cinematic grade of “A,” indicating strong approval from the general public.

The disappointing numbers for “West Side Story” are not unique among the genre. Movie musicals have largely faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic, with “In the Heights” ($11.5 million first) and “Dear Evan Hansen” ($7.4 million first) opening below original expectations. Neither of these versions installed impressively over subsequent weekends. For the more hopeful future outlook for West Side Story, see this movie’s box office comparison to other recent holiday season musical releases like 2018’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” which grossed nearly 18% of its $172 million in domestic earnings. its opening week, and 2017’s “The Greatest Showman,” which took 7.6% of its $174.3 million in domestic earnings in its first week — an abnormally long performance.

Based on the beloved 1957 Broadway musical, Tony Kushner wrote West Side Story and stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Ziegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, whose passion for each other exacerbates the gang war between Puerto Rican and Puerto Rican sharks. white planes. The cast also includes Ariana Debus as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Mike Fest as Reeve, and Rita Moreno as Valentina, a new role created for this adaptation.

The third weekend of Disney’s “Encanto” could end with some tough competition for the box office top spot that’s supposed to pit “West Side Story” on Sunday. The animated adventure is expected to earn $9.58 million over the weekend, a minuscule 27% of its previous run.

Third place will take home $6.4 million in Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” over the weekend. The comedy series has grabbed a wave of word of mouth since the weekend leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. It should expand its local currency to $111 million as of Sunday.

“House of Gucci” by MGM and United Artists Releasing will take fourth place. Lady Gaga earned an additional $1.27 million on Friday and is set to gross $41 million as of Sunday. “Gucci” has been one of the few adult dramas to connect with audiences during the pandemic, although it will still need to draw international audiences to beat the $75 million production budget.

Fifth place is held by Marvel’s “Eternals,” which is expected to bring in $2.93 million by the end of the week. The superhero movie is now wrapping up its showing at the box office ahead of next weekend’s release of the MCU’s latest entry, Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. The value of “Eternal” should exceed US$160 million as of Sunday.

Elsewhere, STXfilms’ “national champions” earned an estimated $120,000 on Friday from about 1,197 sites. The studio estimates a total of $320,000 over the weekend. STXfilms will give the football drama an exclusive theatrical release prior to the release of HD video on demand coinciding with the National College Football Championship in January 2022.

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