Regardless of rave evaluations, Steven Spielberg’s “West Facet Story” has failed to realize traction with audiences on the field workplace.
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 price range was round $100 million, not together with advertising prices.
“Seems like a write-off to me,” mentioned Eric Handler, media and leisure analyst at MKM Companions. “The markets which have accomplished the most effective have been New York and L.A. The movie wasn’t in a position to seize center America, and it did not appear to have that nice of a penetration into the Latino neighborhood.”
“West Facet Story” tells the story of love-struck youngsters from two totally different social lessons in New York Metropolis through the Nineteen Fifties. Tony, a younger white boy with ties to a gang referred to 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 wrestle for management of the Higher West Facet of the 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% Licensed “Recent” Ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was praised for its choreography and singing performances. Nonetheless, this wasn’t sufficient to deliver moviegoers to cinemas.
“[‘West Side Story’] was largely a sufferer of timing and an lack of ability to draw youthful moviegoers,” mentioned Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “Ladies over 35 are the drivers of most musicals. Not solely has that viewers been probably the most cautious to return to public social areas just like the movie show through the pandemic, however renewed concern created by omicron headlines appears to have performed a serious function in doubling down on that hesitance in the intervening time.”
Field workplace analysts mentioned “West Facet Story” additionally possible suffered from not having a giant Hollywood star connected and since its launch was so near that of “Spider-Man: No Method House.” The most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie has dominated on the field workplace over the past two weeks.
In its opening weekend, “West Facet Story” garnered $10.5 million, however the determine was greater than halved throughout its second weekend when the movie tallied simply $3 million.
“‘West Facet Story’ was imagined to rebound this week,” mentioned Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “You may’t rebound while you had been by no means within the field workplace sport to start with.”
Many had hoped that sturdy phrase of mouth would assist enhance the movie, much like what occurred with 2017’s “The Best Showman.” However “West Facet Story” took in solely $2.8 million over the Christmas weekend.
The field workplace is an trade of diminishing returns, which means every week a movie will make smaller and smaller quantities. At this tempo, “West Facet Story” isn’t anticipated to show a revenue.
“And while you spend $100 million to do this, it’ll actually trigger studios to reevaluate tune and dance numbers going ahead,” Bock mentioned.
Film musicals have struggled on the field workplace in recent times. Through the pandemic, “Expensive Evan Hansen” scored lower than $20 million throughout its international theatrical run and “Within 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 long-lasting Broadway costumes with digital fur, bombed on the field workplace, pulling in simply $72.4 million globally on a manufacturing price range of round $95 million, not together with advertising prices.
In truth, 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 “Magnificence and the Beast,” which reached $1.2 billion. The one different movie within the musical class to high $500 million globally was the animated characteristic from Illumination referred to as “Sing,” in response to Comscore information.
“The musical style, a minimum of for now, appears to have fallen out of favor for contemporary audiences,” mentioned Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Disclosure: Comcast is the guardian firm of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal owns Rotten Tomatoes and distributed “Sing,” “Cats” and “Expensive Evan Hansen.”