‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens second to ‘Shang-Chi’ at the box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show has gotten off to a slow start at the box office on its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that is playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated $ 7.5 million at 3,364 locations, according to studio estimates Sunday.

First place again went to Disney and Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which added $ 13.3 million in North American ticket sales, bringing its national total to $ 196.5 million. The superhero image has topped the charts for four consecutive weekends and this weekend it surpassed “Black Widow” to become the highest earner in the pandemic.

With little high-profile competition this weekend, the $ 7.3 million from “Dear Evan Hansen” was enough to place him in second place. While critics weren’t impressed, the audience in attendance this weekend was fanatical and awarded it an A-CinemaScore. Women made up about 62% of the audience according to exit polls. Directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Steven Levenson, “Dear Evan Hansen” is about a high school student with social anxiety disorder.

“We are tremendously proud of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and everything about him,” said Universal Chief of Distribution Jim Orr. “With an exceptional film and a great audience score, we believe it will lead to a better-than-normal performance at the domestic box office.”

Despite its prestigious pedigree and star-studded cast including Julianne Moore and Amy Adams, “Dear Evan Hansen” has become something of a punching bag on social media since its premiere at the London International Film Festival. Toronto earlier this month. At the heart of the jokes is the fact that the film has 27-year-old Ben Platt, who originated the role, playing a teenager.

“Musicals have always had mixed results at the box office,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore. “It’s really difficult to pin down and project what a musical could win on opening weekend, especially in this market.”

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” starring Simu Liu, returned to the top spot at the box office this weekend.
– Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Earlier this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of “In the Heights” was disappointing at the box office despite stellar reviews, but it also aired on HBO Max simultaneously.

The single-digit opening weekend of “Dear Evan Hansen” was reminiscent of some of the “Cats” that opened at $ 6.6 million in December 2019. But “Dear Evan Hansen” cost significantly less – $ 28 million vs. $ 95 million – plus the fact that “Cats” was thrown to worse reviews in a pre-pandemic setting.

“‘Cats’ is a completely different movie released in a completely different market. I don’t think the comparisons are necessarily fair,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s more about the audience making a decision.”

There is also the exception “The Greatest Showman”. The Hugh Jackman musical defied all box office logic in 2017 and 2018 when it opened for $ 8.8 million, but went on to gross more than $ 434.9 million globally. Justin Paul and Benj Pasek were the songwriting duo behind “The Greatest Showman” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

Aside from “Shang-Chi”, September has been slow for most of the movies. The No. 3 movie this weekend was “Free Guy,” which has been in theaters for seven weeks and sixth place went to “Jungle Cruise,” in its ninth week. But the big blockbusters will hit North American theaters in October, with the sequel to “Venom” opening next Friday, the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” on October 8, and “Dune” on October 8. October 22.

“This is the proverbial calm before the storm. October seems to be perhaps one of the most important months of the year at the box office,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s going to be like summer in October in theaters.”

And “Dune” is already operating in 32 overseas markets. The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel has grossed $ 76.5 million in two weeks.

Estimated ticket sales Friday through Sunday at theaters in the US and Canada, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.

1. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” $ 13.3 million.

2. “Dear Evan Hansen,” $ 7.5 million.

3. “Free Guy,” $ 4.1 million.

4. “Candyman”, $ 2.5 million.

5. “Cry Macho”, $ 2.1 million.

6. “Jungle Cruise,” $ 1.7 million.

7. “Maligno,” $ 1.5 million.

8. “Copshop,” $ 1.3 million.

9. “Paw Patrol,” $ 1.1 million.

10. “Love Story,” $ 893,765.

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