Box Office: ‘In the Heights’ Dancing to Subdued $13 Million Debut

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Warner Bros. movie musical “In the Heights” is poised to top the domestic box office this weekend, though its 3-day estimate now sits lower than previous predictions.

Earlier in the week, “In the Heights” — directed by Jon M. Chu and based on the musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda — was expected to generate more than $20 million in its debut weekend. But now, with the film bringing in only $4.9 million on Friday from 3,456 theaters, its 3-day estimate has fallen to just under $13 million.

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Featuring a predominantly Latino cast, “In the Heights” follows a bodega owner named Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who discovers that his shop has sold a winning lottery ticket. As the neighborhood of Washington Heights reaches sweltering hot temperatures amid a blackout, friendships, relationships and dreams are put to the test. The ensemble cast also includes Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins and Olga Merediz. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for the original 2008 musical, penned the film’s screenplay. The film’s production budget was $55 million.

It’s important to note that musicals have a track record of being a mixed bag at the box office. Though “In the Heights” earned Broadway recognition with a Tony award win for best book, it’s not as well known as Miranda’s other musical, “Hamilton,” and therefore may be less of a draw to the everyday viewer. Furthermore, “In the Heights” is also available on HBO Max, meaning viewers may have skipped the theater to enjoy the film in the comfort of their own homes. The movie musical has raked in positive reviews, with Variety‘s Peter Debruge calling the film “eye-popping” and a “blast.”

Coming in close behind “In the Heights” is the box office force that has become “A Quiet Place Part II.” Taking in $3.7 million on Friday from 3,515 theaters, the thriller is set to gross a total of $11.4 million over the weekend, which would bring its cume up to an impressive $108 million. This would make “A Quiet Place 2” the biggest-earning film of the pandemic era so far, beating out “Godzilla Vs. Kong,” which has yet to surpass the $100 million mark with $99.6 million. “A Quiet Place 2” has also asserted its dominance over “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” which creeped past it at last weekend’s box office.

This weekend, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” is estimated to take in $10.9 million from 3,237 theaters, pushing its total gross to $44.6 million. Taking the fourth spot is “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway,” which is predicted to pull in just over $10 million from 3,346 theaters during its debut weekend. On Friday, the sequel earned around $4 million.

Disney’s “Cruella” marked the No. 5 spot, and is predicted to add $6.5 million for a total gross of $55.8 million. Though this weekend’s numbers are more subdued than most, there are still plenty of summer blockbusters on the way — notably “F9” on June 25 and “Black Widow” on July 9 — that are sure to continue to revitalize the moviegoing business.

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