I am not surprised by this news: “In the Heights” is a dud at the box office.
The movie musical adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show made just $5 million on Friday including Thursday previews.
On HBO Max there may have been more activity, but crowds didn’t turn out to see the great dancing and colors of Jon Chu’s movie.
I’m not surprised because delightful as it is, “In the Heights” has no breakout songs. It isn’t “Hamilton.” It doesn’t have a compelling plot. It’s simply a celebration of life.
Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. But without those elements, it’s a passive cause.
“In the Heights” has no big hit streaming chart songs, no hits on iTunes, and the album is number 6 on iTunes. After a big first day of sales, it cooled right off.
The music is lovely, vibrant, and danceable like crazy. But there are no singles. You don’t come out of the movie singing because the themes are not like those of “Hamilton.”
If “In the Heights” only took in $5 million over two nights, the weekend looks bleak.
We can’t say Warner Bros. didn’t put heart and soul into this one. The PR and marketing departments deserve their own Oscars for how they crafted these campaigns. They’ve done everything possible to encourage the audience.
But “In the Heights” needs a hit single to make it happen, and without that, a “Stayin’ Alive” or “Let it Go,” it’s not happening.