Despite the awards buzz, the stellar reviews (including our own ★★★★★ rave), and Steven Spielberg, 20th Century and Disney’s West Side Story failed to strike a chord with the masses at the U.S. box-office over the weekend, grossing a soft $10.5M.
Box-office analysts had predicted a debut in the mid-teens, so this quiet opening for the $100M Broadway adaptation will be a disappointment for 20th Century and Disney, although all is not lost. Unlike similar genre underperformers like Dear Evan Hansen and In The Heights, West Side Story will be hoping to play throughout awards season, and act as counter-programming to a small independent film about your friendly neighbourhood spider which swings into town this week.
Comparisons with The Greatest Showman‘s 2017 performance are being used to soften the blow, which opened with $8.8M before going on to rake in $174M domestically, however that was a much shorter film and featured entirely original songs that dominated the charts for weeks. It’s highly unlikely you’ll find ‘somewhere’ being played on KISS FM this Christmas.
On a more successful note, West Side Story still managed to take the top spot from Disney’s Encanto, which grossed an additional $9.4M for a domestic total of $71.3M. After three weeks in the global marketplace it has now made $151.8M.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife continued to do solid business, adding $7.1M to Sony’s containment unit for a domestic total of $112M. The international performance isn’t as healthy, once again proving that the Ghostbusters IP doesn’t play as well outside of America. As of now the overseas tally is $57.7M for a global haul of $169.7M.
Rounding out the top 5 were Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, one the few adult skewed success stories of the pandemic era, which added $4.1M for a running total of $41M, and took its global tally to an impressive $93M, followed closely by Eternals, which approached the $400M global mark with $3.1M over the weekend. The Chloe Zhao directed blockbuster is set to arrive on Disney+ in January.
As always, head over to BoxOfficeMojo for all of the stats and statistics.