The new remake of the hit musical movie West Side Story has been in theatres for about three weeks now, and is being deemed a box office bomb. The adaptation has been well-received with rave reviews, but it’s just not hitting the bank with audiences.
The film captured just $36.6 million in global ticket sales, with a budget of around $100 million, not including marketing costs. Eric Handler, media and entertainment analyst at MKM Partners, says it “sounds like a write-off.” He continues, “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’ is a box office bomb after highly anticipated release
The musical first launched on Broadway in 1957 and has been revived a bunch of times since then, but Speilberg’s newest remake has had eyes on it for a few years now—so needless to say it’s been highly anticipated. Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com, opens up more about why the film could be doing poorly in the box office.
″[‘West Side Story’] was largely a victim of timing and an inability to attract younger moviegoers,” says Robbins. “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.”
Musical movies are not as popular as they once were
Additionally, box office analysts predict that the film may have suffered by not having a big Hollywood star attached to the film and because its release was so closely released to box office hit Spider-Man: No Way Home. Movie musicals, in general, have also been struggling in recent years. Most recently, the movie version of Dear Evan Hansen only scored less than $20 million during its global theatrical run. Also, In The Heights, which had a dual theatre and HBO Max release, scored $43.8 million worldwide. 2019’s Cats also only pulled in $72.4 million globally on a production budget of around $95 million.