Here’s Why Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Bombed at the Box Office and What That Means for Golden Globes and Oscars

Steven Spielberg‘s West Side Story earned rave opinions and began to guide the awards conversations. Nonetheless, the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical fell flat on its face at the field workplace. There are numerous elements at play, however listed here are a few of the most distinguished causes for why that occurred. This might additionally influence West Side Story‘s awards probabilities transferring ahead.

‘West Side Story’ bombed at the field workplace

L-R: Ilda Mason as Luz, Ariana DeBose as Anita, and Ana Isabelle | Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios

CNBC reported that Spielberg’s West Side Story introduced in solely $36.6 million in world ticket gross sales over its first three weeks in theaters. The manufacturing finances was round $100 million, though that doesn’t embody its costly advertising prices. Unsurprisingly, West Side Story carried out finest in Los Angeles and New York, leaving center America in the darkish.

Spielberg’s musical hit theaters on Dec. 10, which was dangerously near Spider-Man: No Means House‘s launch on Dec. 17. West Side Story opened to $10.5 million in ticket gross sales, however the enormous Marvel movie immediately took over the field workplace. Consequently, West Side Story by no means recovered.

‘West Side Story’ advertising relied an excessive amount of on Steven Spielberg’s identify

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Disney’s twentieth Century Studios did their finest to market West Side Story. Nonetheless, there wasn’t an entire lot to market about the new musical. Followers of the authentic 1957 Broadway musical and the 1961 movie adaptation are a built-in viewers. However, how do they seize newer and youthful crowds?

twentieth Century Studios relied on Spielberg’s identify to generate buzz. West Side Story earned a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Nonetheless, constructive phrase of mouth didn’t do sufficient to beat a largely unknown solid with no huge star to market round. Fellow musical Tick, Tick… Increase! led its advertising efforts with Andrew Garfield at the forefront.

The Fault in Our Star actor Ansel Elgort is one in all the largest stars in the film taking part in Tony. The advertising supplies rapidly swept his involvement below the rug after sexual assault allegations made towards Elgort surfaced. Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, and David Alvarez flip in phenomenal performances, however they aren’t large enough names to attract in new audiences.

Spielberg is one in all the biggest movie administrators of all time. Nonetheless, he isn’t sufficient of a hook to herald youthful audiences who’re much less aware of his masterworks. The advertising division didn’t have a lot to tempt audiences to hurry to a theater in the center of a pandemic.

Riskier characteristic movies ought to higher make the most of streaming service choices

West Side Story is a big-budget musical in a yr full of different musicals, reminiscent of Tick, Tick… Increase!, In the Heights, Annette, Respect, Pricey Evan Hansen, Cyrano, amongst others. Nonetheless, a number of of those titles discovered success by offering audiences with a streaming platform possibility.

CNBC defined how the pandemic actually performed an element in West Side Story‘s field workplace fiasco. “Women over 35 are the drivers of most musicals,” chief analyst Shawn Robbins mentioned. “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.”

West Side Story might begin with an unique theatrical engagement, however giving audiences a streaming launch possibility quickly after would solely profit the film’s potential in the present market. Riskier titles that don’t have a right away cause for audiences to purchase tickets have a greater likelihood amongst crowds watching from dwelling in the midst of the pandemic.

Box workplace does influence Golden Globes and Oscars probabilities

The field workplace isn’t every little thing on the subject of the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Nonetheless, it’s actually considered. West Side Story by no means confirmed up for many audiences, whereas loads of different critical awards contenders are displaying their endurance.

Netflix’s The Energy of the Canine had a restricted unique theatrical engagement adopted by its streaming launch. Hollywood and audiences proceed to speak about the film as a result of it’s extra accessible to a wider crowd. The identical holds true for Tick, Tick… Increase!

Many critics praised West Side Story proper out of early press screening, hailing it as the Greatest Image frontrunner. Nonetheless, solely time will inform simply how a lot the field workplace failure will influence its probabilities on the awards circuit.

The Golden Globes will air on Jan. 9 and the Academy Awards will air on March 27.

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