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Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Stinks Up the Box Office

Rachel Zegler cast as Snow White in live-action adaptation
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The spectacular talents of Steven Spielberg weren’t enough to bolster his latest feature, as “West Side Story” has officially bombed at the box office.

“West Side Story” has earned a paltry $36 million in its first three weeks in theaters. That’s compared to a $100 million budget, not including marketing costs. The ratio marks one of the worst in Spielberg’s career.

″‘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 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 paltry box office returns stand in stark contrast to the critical reception of the film. It generated largely positive reviews from critics, earning a 93% Certified “Fresh” Rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was praised for its choreography and singing performances. However, this wasn’t enough to bring moviegoers to cinemas.

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Going up against “Spider-Man: No Way Home” also didn’t help. Spidey raked in the second highest opening weekend of all time.

“The musical genre, at least for now, seems to have fallen out of favor for modern audiences,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.