Dear Evan Hansen sings to $800,000 in Thursday night previews

Universal’s feature adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen has entered the box office ring with three-week champ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and it got off to a decent start in Thursday night previews but I suspect there will be some major front-loading at play and Shang-Chi will retain its box office title for the fourth week in a row.

Dear Evan Hansen grossed $800,000 in Thursday night previews from 2,700 theaters that began at 7:00 PM. Is this a good start? I’d say it’s as good of a start as could be expected from the film considering that, despite the popularity of the Broadway musical, it’s a very niche film that doesn’t necessarily appeal to the masses. What a film like this needs to expand beyond its fanbase is solid reviews that could possibly convert the uninitiated. This really isn’t the case with Dear Evan Hansen. The film is very rotten at 37% on Rotten Tomatoes with most of the criticism pointing to the film’s story, which seemed to be praised on Broadway but is getting a polarizing response for its film version. The one promising thing here is the audience score sits at 94% but we’ll have to see if that’s just the core fanbase or if it’s opening up beyond that.

Dear Evan Hansen comes into the weekend tracking for a $10 million opening which could still be in play based on the Thursday number. For comparison’s sake, Dear Evan Hansen’s Thursday night is higher than Universal’s Cats which made $550,000 at 2,500 theaters beginning at 7:00 PM. That film began a walking disaster and ended up opening to $6.6 million before grossing $27.1 million domestic, and that was with a December/holiday boost. Dear Evan Hansen won’t be getting that boost so this will all come down to word of mouth.

Directed by Stephen Chbosky, Dear Evan Hansen follows a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder, whose encouragement letter to himself becomes mistaken as the final note from the high school bully Connor Murphy, who has just committed suicide. Evan ends up caught in a whirlwind of circumstances as he’s perceived as Connor’s best friend and the only one who understood him. The film stars Ben Platt, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Kaitlyn Dever, Danny Pino, Amandla Stenberg, and Colton Ryan.

Will YOU be seeing Dear Evan Hansen this weekend?

Source: Deadline

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