January 20, 2022

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Spielberg’s ‘West Facet Story’ Opens to Tepid Field Workplace Receipts

Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Opens to Tepid Box Office Receipts

Steven Spielberg’s rave-reviewed remake of “West Side Story” arrived to an estimated $10.5 million in North American ticket gross sales, a feeble consequence — even by pandemic requirements — that added to alarm in Hollywood in regards to the theatrical viability of movies that aren’t visible effects-driven fantasy spectacles or new chapters in ongoing franchises.

However there was additionally a camp that cautioned in opposition to making any speedy assessments. Musicals typically get off to a gradual begin, much more so when they’re launched in mid-December. Fueled by constructive phrase of mouth and awards consideration, they will flip into little engines that might. Golden Globe nominations will probably be introduced on Monday.

The Greatest Showman,” for example, collected $8.8 million over its first three days in home theaters in December 2017 and was insta-written off as a field workplace embarrassment. Then the soundtrack caught fire amongst younger girls. “The Biggest Showman,” which price $84 million to make, completed its six-month run in theaters with $437 million in worldwide ticket gross sales.

In a outcomes e-mail on Sunday, Disney, which launched “West Facet Story” on its twentieth Century Studios label, famous that ticket consumers gave the movie an A grade in CinemaScore exit polls. Indicators of viewers sentiment “all bode effectively for the long term forward by means of the upcoming vacation season,” the corporate mentioned.

In launch in 37 worldwide markets, together with in some international locations the place the Omicron variant has prompted governments to tighten safeguards, “West Facet Story” took in $4.4 million. The movie’s world whole to this point, $14.9 million, missed Disney’s prerelease hope of $25 million by roughly 40 %.

“West Facet Story,” primarily based on the 1957 Broadway musical, price an estimated $100 million to remake, not together with tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in advertising and marketing prices. Tony Kushner tailored the screenplay.

In america and Canada, turnout for “West Facet Story” was largest amongst ticket consumers over the age of 55. About 82 % of the nationwide viewers got here earlier than 8 p.m., in response to EntTelligence, a movie analysis agency.

“It is a story about an interracial romance,” David A. Gross, who runs the movie consultancy Franchise Leisure Analysis, mentioned in an e-mail on Sunday. “As soon as upon a time, that was uncommon and memorable. Not any extra. For moviegoers, context might have caught up with this movie, nonetheless well-made it’s.” (The filmmaking workforce and plenty of critics would counter that “West Facet Story” additionally tackles social points, notably intolerance, which might be as well timed as ever. Reviewing the movie for The New York Instances, A.O. Scott mentioned Spielberg’s tackle the fabric “reaffirms its indelible enchantment whereas making it really feel daring, shocking and new.”)

Amongst A-list filmmakers, Spielberg is without doubt one of the final streaming holdouts. Though his firm, Amblin, signed a multiyear deal in June to make feature films for Netflix, Spielberg has pushed for his directorial initiatives to stay theatrical exclusives. On the New York Metropolis premiere of “West Facet Story,” he thanked Disney executives for giving his movie an old school theatrical rollout, regardless of the pandemic, fairly than rerouting it to a streaming service, as the corporate had notably achieved with “Hamilton.” (On Thursday, Disney eliminated a Ben Affleck thriller, “Deep Water,” from its January theatrical launch schedule; the film is predicted to stream on Amazon Prime or Hulu as a substitute.)

So it was distressing for Hollywood traditionalists to see “West Facet Story” arrive to even decrease ticket gross sales than “Within the Heights.” That euphorically reviewed Warner Bros. musical took in $11.5 million over its first three days in theaters in June — regardless that it was concurrently accessible to stream at no further price on HBO Max. Field workplace analysts used phrases like “fizzled” and “dismal” to explain opening-weekend ticket gross sales for “Within the Heights.”

Dwell-action musicals have lengthy been a challenged style on the field workplace. However they will nonetheless be winners, particularly if they’ve starry casts. “The Biggest Showman” had Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Michelle Williams and Zac Efron. The profitable “Les Misérables (2012) had Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp and others powered “Into the Woods” (2014) to $31 million in opening-weekend ticket gross sales. (One exception: Common’s all-star “Cats.”)

“Within the Heights,” in distinction, lacked family names. Ditto “Pricey Evan Hanson,” which face-planted in September. And “West Facet Story” solely has one confirmed field workplace star: Spielberg.

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