An Anticipated Movie Debut Falls Shy of Expectations

'In the Heights' can't overtake 'Quiet Place' sequel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 13, 2021 5:22 PM CDT
An Anticipated Movie Debut Falls Shy of Expectations
This image released by Warner Bros. Picures shows Anthony Ramos, foreground left, and Melissa Barrera in a scene from "In the Heights."   (Macall Polay/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

Just when a party was poised to break out in movie theaters, the below-expectation debut of In the Heights dampened Hollywood's hopes of a swift or smooth recovery at the summer box office. Jon M. Chu's exuberant adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical opened with a modest $11.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday, per the AP. Forecasts had ranged from $15-$20 million. The release of In the Heights—beloved by critics and considered a milestone movie for Latinos—was widely seen as a cultural event. On opening weekend, though, the Warner Bros. release narrowly missed the top spot. Instead, A Quiet Place Part II edged it with $11.7 million in its third weekend of release. On Friday, John Krasinski's thriller became the first film of the pandemic to reach $100 million domestically. Its cumulative total is $109 million.

Sony's Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, a film originally planned to open around Easter 2020, also opened softly, debuting with an estimated $10.4 million. After a string of good box office weekends, the opening of In the Heights was a reminder of the challenges of the marketplace. Most theaters are operating at reduced capacities to allow social distancing. Canada's theaters are largely closed. And getting crowds to come out for a movie that was simultaneously streaming on HBO Max, as In the Heights was, adds another complication. Starring a mostly fresh-face cast including Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace, In the Heights didn't have the star power of musicals such as Mamma Mia! to give it a boost. Miranda, who performed the lead on Broadway, ceded the part to Ramos. Miranda plays a minor role.

(Read more box office stories.)

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