Despite rave reviews, “West Side Story” has failed to gain traction with audiences at the box office.
West Side Story made $36.6 million globally. Its production budget was around $100 million, and in this money, marketing costs are not included.
“Sounds like a write-off to me,” said Eric Handler, media and entertainment analyst at MKM Partners. “The markets that have done the best have been New York and L.A. The film wasn’t able to grab middle America, and it didn’t seem to have that great of penetration into the Latino community.”
“West Side Story” is about teenagers, and they are in love from two different social classes in New York during the 1950s. Tony, a young white boy from the Jets Gang, and Maria, a young Puerto Rican girl from the Sharks gang. The Jets and Sharks are in the midst of a struggle to control the Upper West Side part of New York City, making Maria and Tony’s love forbidden.
Disney’s 20th Century Studios distributed “West Side Story,” which mainly generated positive reviews from critics, earning 93% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was praised for its singing and choreography performances. However, this was not enough to bring moviegoers to cinemas.
″[‘West Side Story] was largely a victim of timing and an inability to attract younger moviegoers,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “Women over 35 are the drivers of most musicals. Not only has that audience been the most cautious about returning 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.”
Analysts said that this movie suffered because no big Hollywood star worked in that movie, and its release was so close to “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and Spider-Man has dominated at the box office over the last two weeks.