Despite enjoying rave reviews that have firmly positioned the movie as both one of Steven Spielberg’s best in decades and a serious awards season contender, early projections don’t see West Side Story flying particularly high at the box office this weekend.
That being said, a haul of over $14 million would be enough to see the remake dislodge Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci to score the highest-grossing opening weekend of the pandemic for a drama. Then again, In the Heights flopped despite winning equally enthusiastic reviews, so maybe musicals just aren’t cutting it with crowds.
This is Spielberg we’re talking about, though, and his name should be enough to drum up some extra business. All told, Disney subsidiary 20th Century Studios are predicting $12-17 million domestic and anywhere up to $31 million globally, which is….okay.
Of course, West Side Story really only has one week to make its money, because nobody’s going to be talking about anything other than Spider-Man: No Way Home from the 17th onward. Counter-programming is all well and good, but if The Matrix Resurrections and The King’s Man are poised to get caught in the web-slinging backdraft, then Spielberg’s latest may not stand a chance of having any commercial legs.