Friday, June 14, 2024

Desperate Times in Movies: “West Side Story” Will Stream Not Just on DisneyPlus, But Also Rival HBO Max


The whole saga of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake is stomach turning.

The film got great reviews up front. But Disney did little else to promote it. The result is a $30 million box office that should have been one-hundred-and-thirty. The marketing was terrible, and audiences stayed away.

When things looked bleak, the studio did nothing. They could have had a special holiday event on Disney Plus for Christmas or New Year’s. Silence. They also didn’t send physical DVD screeners out to press or to SAG. The movie should have gotten a SAG Best Ensemble nomination but missed. And the Golden Globes didn’t get it at all.

Now Disney is finally going to stream “West Side Story.” They’ll debut it on Disney Plus on March 2nd. But in a weird move, they’re also putting it on their rival, HBO Max. So if you have HBO, you’ll be able to watch it for free. It’s a little late for all this attention, but at least it’s something.

Why they’re waiting til March 2nd beats me. Final voting for the Academy Awards begins March 17 and closes five days later. By then everyone in the Academy will at least have had the chance to watch Spielberg’s really great film. I thought “West Side Story” was going to be Best Picture front runner, and I’m very disappointed that didn’t work out. Maybe this will help. I sure hope so.


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.

Read more

In Other News