West Side Story topped the box office with £1.3m this weekend but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a disappointing result. Prior to 2020, musicals were having a bonanza time at the box office, from La La Land (£30.5m), to Bohemian Rhapsody (£55.4m), A Star Is Born (£30.4m), and obviously The Greatest Showman (£49.7m), all posting bumper box office. However, since cinemas re-opened in May, musicals is one of the genres that has struggled, with In The Heights opening with £1.1m in June and Dear Evan Hansen opening with £235k in October. However, West Side Story was expected to be a big draw, considering it is one of the most famous musicals in history and it’s directed by Steven Spielberg (Always). Add to this it’s probably the most exhilarating cinema experience of the year, an opening weekend of £1.3m is very quiet, and while it should hold up well across Christmas, it looks like the core audience for this title may be staying away at the moment. Comscore’s exit-polling PostTrak data is very positive about West Side Story, with audiences awarding the film 4.5 stars out of 5 – that’s the same score as No Time To Die.
Clifford The Big Red Dog bounded in and took second, opening with £1.3m (including £21k from previews), and just £4k behind West Side Story. With little competition from the family audience across Christmas, it should have a fruitful run over the next three weeks. After topping the box office for two successive weekend, House Of Gucci fell to third, adding £780k for a new total of £7.3m. Over the next week it should overtake Ridley Scott’s 2014 historical epic, Exodus: Gods And Kings, which came out in December 2014 and finished on £8.2m.
Encanto took something of a tumble thanks to Clifford, falling 50% to £636k, which takes its total to £4.2m. Ghostbusters: Afterlife completed the top five, adding £586k, which is a drop off of 45% from last weekend. That takes its total over the £10m mark and it’s now on £10.1m, just £700k behind the final total of the 2016 incarnation of Ghostbusters, which finished on £10.8m.
Outside of the top five, some festive favourites returned to the top 10 with Home Alone in seventh with £123k and Elf in ninth with £119k. No Time To Die is still in the top 10, in eighth and is up to £96.3m.
Overall the box office is down 16% from last weekend.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the third Spider-Man film featuring Tom Holland as the popular superhero. With Spider-Man's identity now revealed, Peter asks Doctor Strange for help. When a spell goes wrong, dangerous foes from other worlds start to appear, forcing Peter to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man. It’s in cinemas from Wednesday.
Across The Pond
West Side Story opened with a disappointing $10.5m, which is lower than the $11.5m In The Heights opened with in June. Encanto fell to second, adding $9.4m, a drop of 28% from the previous frame and takes its total to $71.3m. Ghostbusters: Afterlife came in third with $7.1m, which is a drop of 32% from last weekend. That takes its total to $112m. House of Gucci fell to fourth, adding $4.1mm which is a drop of 42% from the previous weekend and takes its total to $41m, Eternals completed the top five, adding $3.1m for a new total of $161.2m.