Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Dear Evan Hansen” Takes in Just $800K On Preview Night, May Be 2nd Musical Disaster of Season


So much hype about a season of movie musicals, but it’s not working out so far.

The movie version of the Tony Award winner “Dear Evan Hansen” opened in 2,700 theaters last night and was not met with enthusiasm.

The take was just $800,000, or just $296 per theater. Universal will be lucky to score $10 million for the weekend.

“Dear Evan Hansen” has received mixed to poor reviews, with most critics saying that the show’s glaring flaws are magnified on the movie screen. Evan was a hero on stage, but close up he seems like a creepy liar. It doesn’t help that Ben Platt just seems too old now to play the role.

All the performers are excellent, however. You can’t fault them, or the score. But this recipe apparently doesn’t always work when it’s cooked for a big number of diners.

This would not be the first Broadway musical with problems transferring to film. “In the Heights” was a bust last June after a lot of hype and high expectations.

But I’m holding out for Steven Spielberg’s updated “West Side Story” in December. I have a feeling this is our big Oscar winner for 2021. It doesn’t hurt that the original show is perfection, and Spielberg hasn’t messed with that.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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