Warner Bros. was hoping for a big summer hit with its movie adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights.” Instead, the movie fell below expectations and only made $11.4 million at the box office opening weekend. The film had big buzz in media circles, but that excitement didn’t translate to a strong box office.
“In the Heights” is the musical Miranda did before “Hamilton,” and is not nearly as well known. Past summer musicals have also struggled at the box office. The notable exception is “Mamma Mia,” which had big stars — something this movie did not.
There’s also speculation that Warner Bros. was hoping the film would be a hit with Latinx audiences across the country, but it seems to have done well primarily in places with Puerto Rican and Dominican populations like New York and Miami, not in cities like Phoenix and El Paso.
Another wrinkle is that “In the Heights” was also streaming on HBO Max the same day it came out in theaters. It’s not apparent the film had a huge audience on HBO Max, but it kept the movie from being number one at the box office. That top spot went to “A Quiet Place Part II,” which was in its third week.