Even one of the greatest directors of all-time helming a critically acclaimed remake of an undisputed classic, which itself has been pegged as a serious awards season contender, still isn’t enough to overcome the box office struggles that continue to plague movies aimed towards older audiences.
There was hope when Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci debuted to $14 million, landing the top-grossing weekend for a drama since 2019, that things were finally looking up. Heading into this weekend, West Side Story was tracking for an opening that could have reached as high as $18 million, but it hasn’t even come close.
Despite rave reviews, the song-and-dance extravaganza could only rustle up $10.5 million through Sunday, right at the lowest end of projections. While there’s every chance West Side Story could hold well throughout the holiday season, we’re about to be blitzed with the big budget pyrotechnics of Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Matrix Resurrections and The King’s Man, so there isn’t going to be a lot of money going around that doesn’t get spent on either of those three.
Then again, The Greatest Showman showed phenomenal legs back in December 2017 to overcome a weak first frame and remain in the domestic Top 10 for eleven weeks, to there’s a sliver of hope yet for West Side Story to follow suit.