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World News‘West Side Story’ is officially a box office bomb

‘West Side Story’ is officially a box office bomb

Despite rave evaluations, Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” has failed to realize traction with audiences on the box office.

In its first three weeks in cinemas, the adaption of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical, has captured simply $36.6 million in international ticket gross sales. Its manufacturing finances was round $100 million, not together with advertising and marketing prices.

“Sounds like a write-off to me,” stated Eric Handler, media and leisure analyst at MKM Partners. “The markets that have done the best have been New York and L.A. The film wasn’t able to grab middle America, and it didn’t seem to have that great of a penetration into the Latino community.”

“West Side Story” tells the story of love-struck youngsters from two totally different social lessons in New York City in the course of the Nineteen Fifties. Tony, a younger white boy with ties to a gang known as the Jets, and Maria, a younger Puerto Rican woman with ties to the Sharks gang. The Sharks and the Jets are within the midst of a battle for management of the Upper West Side of town, making Tony and Maria’s love forbidden.

The musical launched on Broadway in 1957 and has been revived a dozen instances within the many years since.

Spielberg’s new iteration, distributed by Disney’s twentieth Century Studios, generated largely optimistic evaluations from critics, incomes a 93% Certified “Fresh” Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was praised for its choreography and singing performances. However, this wasn’t sufficient to convey moviegoers to cinemas.

“[‘West Side Story’] was largely a victim of timing and an inability to attract younger moviegoers,” stated Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “Women over 35 are the drivers of most musicals. Not only has that audience been the most cautious to return to public social spaces like the movie theater during the pandemic, but renewed concern created by omicron headlines seems to have played a major role in doubling down on that hesitance for the time being.”

Box office analysts stated “West Side Story” additionally probably suffered from not having a huge Hollywood star hooked up and since its launch was so near that of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” The newest Marvel Cinematic Universe Film has dominated on the box office over the past two weeks.

In its opening weekend, “West Side Story” garnered $10.5 million, however the determine was greater than halved throughout its second weekend when the movie tallied simply $3 million.

“‘West Side Story’ was supposed to rebound this week,” stated Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “You can’t rebound when you were never in the box office game to begin with.”

Many had hoped that sturdy phrase of mouth would assist increase the movie, just like what occurred with 2017’s “The Greatest Showman.” But “West Side Story” took in solely $2.8 million over the Christmas weekend.

The box office is an business of diminishing returns, that means every week a movie will make smaller and smaller quantities. At this tempo, “West Side Story” is not anticipated to show a revenue.

“And when you spend $100 million to do that, it will certainly cause studios to reevaluate song and dance numbers going forward,” Bock stated.

Movie musicals have struggled on the box office lately. During the pandemic, “Dear Evan Hansen” scored lower than $20 million throughout its international theatrical run and “In the Heights,” which had a twin launch in theaters and on HBO Max, secured simply $43.8 million worldwide.

2019’s “Cats,” which changed the enduring Broadway costumes with digital fur, bombed on the box office, pulling in simply $72.4 million globally on a manufacturing finances of round $95 million, not together with advertising and marketing prices.

In reality, the highest-grossing musical movies within the final 5 years had been 2019’s “Frozen II,” which topped $1.4 billion globally and 2017’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” which reached $1.2 billion. The solely different movie within the musical class to high $500 million globally was the animated characteristic from Illumination known as “Sing,” based on Comscore knowledge.

“The musical genre, at least for now, seems to have fallen out of favor for modern audiences,” stated Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

Disclosure: Comcast is the father or mother firm of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes and distributed “Sing,” “Cats” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”


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