Universal’s “Dear Evan Hansen” failed to entice even the most ardent fans of the Broadway musical, raking 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 bring in $10 million in ticket sales over the course of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
“It’s an unfortunate failure for a movie that just didn’t connect with audiences outside of the play’s most devoted fans,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. “Musicals have been hit and miss on a commercial level when it comes to movies, and this movie’s performance in particular can give us more insight into what kind of escapism moviegoers are and aren’t looking for in the near future when they come back to the cinema.”
With returns declining in the coming weeks, “Dear Evan Hansen” will struggle to recoup its $28 million production budget and additional marketing expenses.
This will be a modest loss compared to Universal’s latest music film “Cats,” which opened for just $6.5 million in late 2019 and ended up losing the studio much of its $100 million budget.
Warner Bros.’ “In The Heights” also struggled to attract audiences when it debuted in June, taking in just $11.5 million during 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, which likely contributed to the lackluster box office.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “Dear Evan Hansen.”