With just $36.6 million in ticket sales, ‘West Side Story’ is officially a box office bomb

Ariana DeBose is in Steven Spielberg's new movie.

Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" has failed to gain traction with audiences at the box office.

In its first three weeks in cinemas, the adaption of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical has captured just $36.6 million in global ticket sales. The production budget was around $100 million.

Eric Handler, media and entertainment analyst at MKM Partners, said that it sounded like a write-off. New York and L.A. have done the best because the film didn't have a great penetration into the Latino community.

The tale of love-struck teenagers from two different social classes in New York City during the 1950s is told in the movie "West Side Story". Tony, a young white boy with ties to a gang called the Jets, and Maria, a young Puerto Rican girl with ties to a gang called the Sharks, are both depicted. Tony and Maria are forbidden from seeing each other because of the fight between the Jets and the Sharks for control of the Upper West Side of the city.

The musical launched on Broadway in 1957 and has been revived a dozen times since.

The new version of Spielberg's film earned a 93% Certified "Fresh" Rating on the Tomatoes. The film was praised for its performances. This wasn't enough to get people to go to the movies.

Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Box Office.com, said that "West Side Story" was largely a victim of timing and an inability to attract younger moviegoers. Most musicals are driven by women over 35. The audience has 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.

The box office analysts said that the release of West Side Story was close to that of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and that it probably suffered from not having a big Hollywood star attached. Over the last two weeks, the latest film in the cinematic universe has dominated the box office.

The film earned $10.5 million in its opening weekend, but only $3 million in its second weekend.

"West Side Story" was supposed to rebound this week, said Jeff Bock, senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations. You can't rebound when you're never in the box office game.

The film was hoping that strong word of mouth would help boost it. The Christmas weekend saw the lowest take in the history of the West Side Story.

Each week a film will make smaller and smaller amounts at the box office. The movie "West Side Story" is not expected to make a profit.

It will cause studios to reexamine song and dance numbers going forward when you spend $100 million to do that.

Movie musicals have not performed well at the box office. During the Pandemic, the film "Dear Evan Hansen" scored less than $20 million during its global theatrical run, while the film "In the Heights" earned less than $48 million worldwide.

The Broadway musical, which replaced the legendary Broadway costumes with digital fur, flopped at the box office, pulling in just $72.4 million globally on a production budget of around 95 million, not including marketing costs.

In the last five years, the highest-grossing musical films have been "Frozen II" and the live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast." The animated feature from Illumination called "Sing" was the only film in the musical category to top $500 million.

The musical genre seems to have fallen out of favor with modern audiences, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

The parent company of CNBC and NBCUniversal is the same company as NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal has a stake in the company that distributes "Sing," "Cats" and "Dear Evan Hansen."