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Box Office: ‘West Side Story’ Underwhelming With $10 Million Opening

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20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” is off to a slow start at the domestic box office. Steven Spielberg’s movie musical grossed $4.1 million across 2,820 locations on Friday. Though “West Side Story” had a quiet debut on Thursday evening, collecting just $800,000 in previews, box office analysts were still sticking with original expectations for the film to bring in $10 to $15 million over its opening weekend. Now, it seems that the numbers will likely fall near the floor of that estimate, if even within them.

While an opening around $10 million certainly wouldn’t spell out-and-out doom for “West Side Story,” it must not feel like an auspicious first step for its production companies Amblin Entertainment and TSG Entertainment. Spielberg’s musical cost $100 million to produce and even more to promote, a hefty budget that the release will now hope to match by drawing international audiences and putting up impressive holds over the holiday season. However, the film did conjure glowing reviews, with Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman writing: “There are scenes in Spielberg’s version that will melt you, scenes that will make your pulse race and scenes where you simply sit back and revel in the big-spirited grandeur of it all.”

An adaptation of the beloved 1957 Broadway musical, “West Side Story” was written by Tony Kushner and stars Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, whose passion for each other aggravates a gang war between the Puerto Rican Sharks and the white Jets. The cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Mike Faist as Riff and Rita Moreno as Valentina, a new role created for this adaptation.

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