Steven Spielberg’s musical opens – The Hollywood Reporter

Critically acclaimed by Steven Spielberg West Side Story sang out of tune on its domestic debut with a modest $ 10.5 million from 2,800 theaters, but the closing “number” has yet to be written regarding the musical’s box office fate.

As the weekend approached, 20th Century and Disney were hoping the photo from the big-budget event – which hits the big screen 64 years after Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s iconic Broadway musical and 60 years after the first film adaptation – would make at least $ 13 million nationally. Some tracking services had estimates for the first weekend of up to $ 15 million more.

The good news: West Side Story was able to claim the # 1 spot on the weekend chart thanks to the rest of Disney Animation Encanto.

Abroad, West Side Story debuted at an even more disappointing $ 4.4 million in 37 materials markets, for a global start of $ 14.9 million, well behind the $ 25 million Disney was forecasting.

While there are still many major markets to open, including South Korea and China, the film has had no resonance in Latin America or Asia so far, according to box office analysts. This puts pressure on Europe, where the omicron variant is slowing the box office recovery in some key markets like Germany, where West Side Story debuted at a paltry $ 300,000. Outside the United States, the United Kingdom leads with $ 1.7 million.

Musicals face a huge challenge in the era of the pandemic, as they depend on older people, and especially older women. Still, moviegoers over 35 are the most wary of returning to cinema. According to PostTrak, the largest quadrant of the West Side Story the audience was made up of ticket buyers over 55 (26%), while more than half of the audience was over 35. The film was the best performing in the big cities.

Hope now is that stellar reviews – the film scores 94% on Rotten Tomatoes – and rave reviews from audiences, including an A CinemaScore, will help. West Side Story build momentum throughout the holiday season and Oscar season. Otherwise, Spielberg’s film, which cost more than $ 90 million to make before it goes to market, could suffer significant losses.

End of December 2017, musical The greatest showman, along with Hugh Jackman, was written off as a dud when opening at $ 8.8 million. The film, however, quickly became a hit before peaking at $ 174 million domestically and $ 437 million globally.

Regarding recent musicals, West Side Story open before Dear Evan Hansen ($ 7.4 million) but slightly down In the heights ($ 11.5 million).

West Side Story was a huge draw in Imax and premium format screens, which accounted for 33% of gross.

Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Tony Kushner, West Side Story Originally slated to open in 2020. The film stars Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as doomed lovers Tony and Maria. Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist and Rita Moreno – the first Latina to win an Oscar for her role of Anita in the 1961 film – also star in the Spielberg film, which was a passionate project for the filmmaker and its premiere. musical comedy.

The other national novelty of the weekend, the drama of college football National Champions, was sacked. The film, directed by Ric Roman Waugh, grossed $ 120,000 in 1,197 theaters Friday for an estimated opening of $ 300,000 on the weekend. STX, which manages the film, is counting on a solid premium VOD broadcast in January tied to the actual national championship game.

Among the remainders, Encanto ranked No. 2 with $ 9.4 million sourced from 3,750 theaters for a nationwide total of $ 71.3 million. Overseas, it raised $ 13.6 million in 47 markets for a foreign total of $ 80.5 million and $ 151.8 million globally.

The Sony family Ghostbusters: the afterlife ranked No. 3 in North America with $ 7.1 million from 7,815 locations to finish Sunday with a nationwide cumulative of $ 112 million and $ 169.7 million globally.

MGM and United Artists’ Gucci House – one of the few adult films to thrive during the COVID-19 era – earned an additional $ 4.1 million in 3,407 theaters to rank No.4 in its third release, for a nationwide tally of $ 41 million. Overseas, it is also impressive, bringing in an additional $ 10.1 million in 63 markets for a foreign total of $ 52 million and $ 93 million globally.

As it prepares to cross the $ 400 million mark worldwide, Disney and Marvel’s Eternals rounded out the top five with $ 3.1 million, for a national income of $ 161.2 million and $ 395.3 million globally.

At the specialized box office, A24 opened Red rocket in six locations, earning an average per location of $ 16,158.

Among the remains, MGM and United Artists’ Licorice Pizza continued to post impressive per-screen averages in its third weekend, earning $ 176,349 at four locations in New York and Los Angeles for an average of $ 44,088, which is well above the norm in the era of the pandemic.

Debugging features ” Belfast, another award-winning hope, has expanded to a total of 819 theaters for a total to Sunday of $ 6.5 million.