Spielberg's 'West Side Story' opens with lukewarm box office receipts

The remake of “ West Side Story ”Arrived at around $ 10.5 million in ticket sales in North America, a low result – even by pandemic stan...


The remake of “West Side Story”Arrived at around $ 10.5 million in ticket sales in North America, a low result – even by pandemic standards – that alarmed Hollywood about the theatrical viability of films that are not fantastic shows based on visual effects or new chapters in current franchises.

But there was also a camp which warned against any rapid assessment. Musicals often get off to a slow start, especially when they release in mid-December. Fueled by positive word of mouth and rewarding attention, they can turn into little engines that could. Golden Globe nominations will be announced on Monday.

The greatest showman”, For example, raised $ 8.8 million in its first three days in domestic theaters in December 2017 and was instantly written off as an embarrassment at the box office. Then the the soundtrack caught fire in young women. “The Greatest Showman,” which cost $ 84 million to make, ended its six-month theatrical tour with $ 437 million in worldwide ticket sales.

In a results email Sunday, Disney, which posted “West Side Story” on its 20th Century Studios label, noted that ticket buyers gave the film an A rating in CinemaScore’s exit polls. The indicators of public sentiment “all bode well for the long haul until the next holiday season,” the company said.

Out in 37 international markets, including some countries where the Omicron variant urged governments to tighten up protection measures, “West Side Story” raised $ 4.4 million. The film’s worldwide total to date, $ 14.9 million, missed Disney preview hope of $ 25 million by about 40 percent.

“West Side Story,” based on the 1957 Broadway musical, cost around $ 100 million to remake, not to mention tens of millions of dollars in marketing costs. Tony kushner adapted the scenario.

In the United States and Canada, attendance at “West Side Story” was highest among ticket buyers over 55. According to EntTelligence, a film research company, about 82% of the national audience showed up before 8 p.m.

“This is the story of an interracial romance,” David A. Gross, who heads movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, said in an email Sunday. “Once upon a time, it was rare and remarkable. No more. For cinephiles, the context may have caught up with this film, as well as it may be. (The film crew and many critics would argue that “West Side Story” also addresses social issues, including intolerance, which are more topical than ever before. Reviewing the film for The New York Times, AO Scott said that Spielberg’s take on the material “reaffirms its indelible appeal while making it feel bold, surprising and new.”)

Among the leading filmmakers, Spielberg is one of the last refractors to streaming. Although his company, Amblin, signed a multi-year agreement in June to make feature films for Netflix, Spielberg lobbied for his directorial projects to remain theatrical exclusives. At the New York premiere of “West Side Story,” he thanked Disney executives for giving his film an old-fashioned theatrical rollout, despite the pandemic, rather than redirecting it to a streaming service. , as the company had done in particular with “Hamilton. “(On Thursday, Disney pulled a Ben Affleck thriller” Deep Water “from its January theatrical schedule; the film is slated to air on Amazon Prime or Hulu instead.)

So it was distressing for Hollywood traditionalists to see “West Side Story” reach even lower ticket sales than “In the Heights”. This Warner Bros. musical The Euphoric Review grossed $ 11.5 million in its first three days in theaters in June – even though it was simultaneously available to stream at no additional cost on HBO Max. Box office analysts used words like “fizzed” and “dismal” to describe opening weekend ticket sales for “In the Heights.”

Live-action musicals have long been a contested genre at the box office. But they can still be winners, especially if they have star castings. “The Greatest Showman” had Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron. The hit “Les Misérables (2012) had Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp and others propelled” Into the Woods “(2014) to $ 31 million in sales tickets on the opening weekend (One exception: the star “cats” of Universal.)

“In the Heights”, on the other hand, lacked familiar names. Same as “Dear Evan Hansen”, which was planted in September. And “West Side Story” has only one proven box office star: Spielberg.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Spielberg's 'West Side Story' opens with lukewarm box office receipts
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