Ben Platt stars in “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Universal’s “Dear Evan Hansen” failed to lure in even the most ardent fans of the Broadway musical, hauling in an estimated $7.5 million during its domestic opening weekend.
Marred by negative reviews, the film fell short of expectations, which predicted the adaptation would take in $10 million in ticket sales over the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s an unfortunate misfire for a film that simply didn’t connect with audiences outside the most dedicated fans of the stage play,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. “Musicals are hit and miss on a commercial level when it comes to motion pictures, and this movie’s performance, in particular, may give us further insight into what kind of escapism moviegoers are and aren’t looking for in the immediate future as they come back to cinemas.”
With diminishing returns likely over the next few weeks, “Dear Evan Hansen” will struggle to recoup its $28 million production budget and additional marketing spend.
This will be a modest loss compared to Universal’s last musical film “Cats,” which opened to just $6.5 million in late 2019 and ultimately lost the studio a large chunk of its $100 million budget.
Warner Bros.’ “In The Heights” also had a difficult time attracting audiences when it debuted in June, garnering only $11.5 million over its opening weekend and just under $45 million for its total run despite rave reviews.
To be sure, the adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Broadway show was also released on HBO Max at the same time it was available in theaters, likely contributing to its lackluster box office.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “Dear Evan Hansen.”