Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the 1961 classic West Side Story releases in theatres tonight in the domestic market, with a big question mark on the mature film market, is there any chance for the epic musical? So far in 2021, Lin Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights failed to impress with a rock bottom $11.5 million opening in the heat of summer. When the fall hit Universal’s Dear Evan Hansen entered the fold with an even more dismal $7.4 million. In terms of the mature market, Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci was able to pull in $14.4 million during the three day Thanksgiving weekend, the five days total reached $22 million. This begs the question, will West Side Story be bigger than House of Gucci? Either way, an opening in the higher teens would likely be on the cards with $16-17 million being where I put the much-anticipated film. An opening that may be a little disappointing if the rumoured $100 million budget turns out to be factual. It would need a large international audience, which may end up being quite fickle given scares for Omicron and the looming shadow of Marvel Studio’s Spider-Man: No Way Home which starts releasing in some markets within the next week.
In second this weekend, we have another Disney owned musical, with Encanto likely to be pushed down a spot by the aforementioned West Side Story. Given weekly trends at the daily box office with the film dropping only 34% and 24% from the week prior on Monday and Tuesday respectively, it looks as though this film will be propelled to a very small drop, with a drop between 30 and 33% we’d be looking at a weekend total of $8.8-9.2 million. The Disney animation should be around $70.6 – 71 million for a domestic total, pulling even further ahead of the previous highest-grossing animation of the pandemic The Croods 2: A New Age which pulled in $58.6 million and higher than 2021’s previous animated champion The Boss Baby 2: Family Business which has grossed $56.4 million domestically.
Falling a spot from last weekend, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set for a decent hold this weekend. Monday and Tuesday for the nostalgia flick average out to 40%. If the film can manage to pull off a 40% drop it’s looking for a total of $6.2 million. Domestically, the film should be at $111.1 million, which should leave it trailing the 2016 reboot by $5.5 million.
Taking the four spot this weekend should be House of Gucci, Lady Gaga’s Oscar vehicle, the film is also posting impressive daily drops versus the previous week, both Monday and Tuesday being around the 35% mark. If the film has a 37 to 35% drop this upcoming weekend would put the film at $4.4 – 4.6 million for the weekend. Domestic total should be around $41.3 – 41.5 million, already more than four times the gross of Ridley Scott’s previous film this year The Last Duel which ended its run with a catastrophic $10.9 million.
In number five this weekend, we will likely have a very strong drop for Christmas with the Chosen: The Messenger. The film should post a very steady 17% drop for a weekend total of $3.5 million, which should translate to a total of around $15.3 million. it has held well during the week and will likely play well up until the 17th and the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home which will eat up screens like an all you can eat buffet.