What That Means – Deadline

What That Means – Deadline

Saturday AM Update: Refresh for chart and extra evaluation: The opening weekend of Disney/twentieth Century Studios/Amblin’s West Side Story, the primary characteristic musical from Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg, isn’t something to shout from the rooftops about, with a $4.1M Friday, together with previews, and a weekend that’s an estimated $10.2MWest Side Story is being launched with a theatrical window, and it’s outcome that’s beneath that of one other Broadway Hispanic and Latino characteristic musical launched earlier this 12 months, that being Warner Bros. In the Heights which fizzled with a $11.5M begin off a theatrical and HBO Max day-and-date debut.

Now, it’s par for the course for the mainstream field workplace media to feasibly write {that a} Spielberg movie with a $100M+ manufacturing value (earlier than P&A) is a bomb. But there’s just a few breaths we have to take, and know that even after we poke some holes right here, the tip sport for West Side Story is a marathon, not a dash. This isn’t essentially a repeat of Cats which tanked over the 2019 vacation with a $95M manufacturing value, $6.6M opening, a C+ CinemaScore and disastrous opinions at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes for Andrew Lloyd Weber’s feline uncanny valley. West Side Story has an A CinemaScore out of the gate, an 88% optimistic on Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak and an enormous 70% particular suggest, together with 93% licensed recent on Rotten Tomatoes.

If there’s any ‘WTF, why did they do this?’ assessments to be made about West Side Story and its opening weekend, it’s undoubtedly in Disney’s determination to launch the film this weekend. West Side Story is a film squarely aimed toward older females (it pulled in 57% females, 52% over 35) and that demo is simply not popping out proper now because of the vacation season and there even slower to come back out due to the pandemic. So, sure, Disney, why didn’t you launch the film a lot nearer to Christmas (when audiences actually do come out) such as you did with Mary Poppins Returns which debuted on a Wednesday, earned $15.5M over 5 days and went on to $172M? This pre-Christmas weekend is greatest reserved for fanboy or occasion movies because the youthful demos have confirmed to indicate up.

One insider near the movie tells me that the explanation why Disney executed this distribution technique was as a result of they appeared on the sleeper trajectories of Spielberg’s grownup movies and figured their plan off that. A rival studio boss remarks that West Side Story will likely be tremendous in the long term; that it’s simply having two weeks of previews within the run-up to Christmas earlier than it actually takes off.

But there are different studio advertising sources who’ve their doubts about West Side Story. Steven Spielberg’s first stab at a serious musical, and that being West Side Story? I get that conceit, I’m there, I’m sitting upfront and I liked it. But there are some who ask even by pre-pandemic requirements, who is that this film for? Who desires to see a remake of a multi-Oscar profitable traditional movie? Do mainstream moviegoers actually care that Spielberg is making it? And why aren’t there any stars within the movie? Moviegoers need to see their stars on display, and these final three characteristic musicals —West Side Story, In the Heights, and Dear Evan Hansen– didn’t have megawatt stars on display.

twentieth Century Fox

Interestingly sufficient, the opening day of West Side Story isn’t that far off from that of Mary Poppins Returns ($4.7M, granted it was a Wednesday), In the Heights ($5M), and it’s greater than Greatest Showman‘s $2.45M Wednesday. I keep wanting to comp West Side Story to Greatest Showman, but I’m cautioned: That Hugh Jackman unique musical, regardless of being panned, and extensively liked by audiences had a soundtrack with radio play. West Side Story, regardless of it’s hummable, traditional, show-stopping tunes, doesn’t have any new radio-play tunes; and that’s an enormous advertising software that may carry a musical. What’s the distinction between West Side Story and Sony’s remake of Annie which opened in mid December 2015 to $15.5M? Annie had its traditional soundtrack tricked up by Jay-Z. By the best way that film had a primary Friday of $5.3M and legged out to simply beneath $86M stateside.

Warner Bros

Also many trade executives have been telling me earlier than the beginning of the weekend that West Side Story would face the identical dilemma as In the Heights and that’s simply because it’s a Latino and Hispanic musical doesn’t imply it appeals to the general demographic. West Side Story and In the Heights are respectively Puerto Rican immigrant and Dominican Republic and islanders’ tales, tales which don’t essentially resonate with Mexican Americans. That implies that solely a portion of the general Latino and Hispanic demographic will present up. And for West Side Story, Comscore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak exhibits an viewers that was 30% Latino/Hispanic, 52% Caucasian, 6% Black and 12% Asian/different. In the Heights had a 40% turnout for the Latino and Hispanic demographic. In the Heights additionally leaned heavy feminine (63%) and older (49% over 35).

Similar to In the Heights, West Side Story is seeing most of its enterprise within the Broadway capital, New York City, with AMC Lincoln Square a high performing location field workplace analytics agency EntTelligence reporting that NYC has double the occupancy fee of this weekend’s moviegoing nationwide common. Three hundred thousand have purchased tickets to West Side Story to this point, and 82% of the film’s ticketholders are watching this 2 hour and 36 minute working film earlier than 8PM.

Others argue that West Side Story is an IP that’s simply too previous for the 18-34 moviegoing crowd. It’s not like nobody goes to the flicks: The projections I’m listening to for Spider-Man: No Way Home subsequent weekend are huge, some comping it to the home begins of latest Star Wars motion pictures ($150M+).

But in sizing up these grownup motion pictures, we are able to’t overlook: These movies have been greenlit throughout a unique time, for a unique viewers, and these movies are popping out a lot later in a market nonetheless rattled by a pandemic.

At the tip of the day, a streaming launch of West Side Story would have been the extra prudent monetary alternative, proper? In a warfare between cinematic aesthetics and economics, uhh, no: West Side Story was meant for the large display, and you must see it, to stay it; the dance numbers have a visible immersion on par with Avatar. 

And on that notice, as studios develop into intoxicated on streaming, it’s clear they’re working off of some enterprise mannequin whereby the worth of content material and the way it’s monetized isn’t essentially beneath the previous guidelines of a first-run theatrical window. It’s an algorithm primarily based on catalog measurement and subscribers.

But earlier than declaring West Side Story a bomb, what’s the loss for Netflix on a $200M gamble like Red Notice? That’s the streamer’s most watched film of all-time at 354M hours worldwide. For the time being, we’re in a unique period regarding the slide rule for revenue and loss.

Chart coming…extra.


Friday AM Update: twentieth Century Studios/Amblin/Disney’s West Side Story grossed $800K final evening in Thursday evening previews that started at 5PM at 2,820 places. Industry projections for Steven Spielberg’s first characteristic musical are between $12M-$17M.

West Side Story‘s Thursday night matches that of Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen which additionally made $800K from 2,700 theaters from showtimes that began at 7PM. Warner Bros. didn’t report previews for its Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights again in June, however I’m knowledgeable that the Jon M. Chu directed Broadway adaptation did an estimated $1.7M. In the Heights’ opening weekend of $11.5M was largely fueled by the NYC market (that film additionally debuting day-and-date on HBO Max). While not technically an actual comp, West Side Story‘s Thursday night bests the pre-pandemic 2015 previews of Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller Bridge of Spies which posted $500K earlier than delivering a $15.3M opening.

True, Dear Evan Hansen did tank on the field workplace with a $7.4M opening and $15M last home. But that was a unique track altogether regardless of additionally being 2 hours-plus lengthy like West Side Story: Dear Evan Hansen was too miserable for a pandemic viewers searching for escapism and crushed by critics with a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. West Side Story is large a dance quantity for the large display, with a whole lot of toe-tapping songs to maintain you buzzing as you allow the theater. It’s already armed with awards season buzz and 93% licensed recent from critics. Aside from opening in a market the place adults are nonetheless cautious due to Covid, West Side Story‘s biggest hurdle as of this minute are holiday season distractions, i.e. shopping, parties. Typically the only movies showing any signs of life before Christmas are event titles like Jumanji: The Next Level and Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse. One can’t precisely count on large grosses for an adult-demo musical which is a remake of a Hollywood traditional earlier than Christmas, even pre-pandemic. I hear Disney plans to spend on West Side Story all through the vacation and make this a sleeper. Who knew The Greatest Showman, which additionally opened earlier than Christmas and put up a $13.5M 5-day, deflated awards season buzz and unhealthy opinions at 57% Rotten would get to $174.3M and $435M WW? And the film wasn’t even primarily based off of any Broadway IP.

I used to be informed by a rival distribution boss yesterday that it’s onerous to get screens for the vacation season this 12 months, and once more, that is possible Disney’s means of getting out forward earlier than Spider-Man: No Way Home takes over the world subsequent weekend, I’m now listening to effectively over $150M for that Sony/Disney/Marvel team-up.

Disney’s Encanto lead all common titles in launch yesterday with an estimated $794K at 3,980 theaters for a two week working whole of $61.9M. Fathom Events’ Christmas With the Chosen was popping second with $767K for per week’s take of $7.5M and working whole of $12.3M. MGM/UAR’s House of Gucci was third on Thursday with $692K, a second week of $10.1M, and a working whole of $36.97M earlier than its third weekend. Sony’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife ends its third week with $13M after a close to $600K Thursday for a working whole of $104.9M.



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