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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Flops at Box Office With $7.5 Million Opening

Universal musical fails to knock ”Shang-Chi“ off No. 1 spot as Marvel film nears $200 million domestic

Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has completed its domination of the September box office, taking No. 1 for the fourth straight weekend with $13.3 million to bring its domestic total to $196.5 million.

On Friday, “Shang-Chi” passed the $183.4 million domestic run of “Black Widow” to become the highest grossing film in North America since the pandemic began, and this week it is set to become the first film since “Bad Boys for Life” in February 2020 to reach the $200 million mark.

While the film’s global totals are likely to be diminished as a release in China is looking increasingly unlikely, the film added $14 million overseas this weekend to bring it to $363.4 million, passing the global run of “Tenet” to become the fourth-highest grossing Hollywood release worldwide in the pandemic era.

In second is Universal’s “Dear Evan Hansen,” which opened to a disappointing $7.5 million from 3,364 screens. With a reported budget of $27 million, the film adaptation of the Pasek & Paul musical cost roughly half of what it cost to make another 2021 musical flop, “In The Heights,” and a quarter of what it cost Universal to make its 2019 bomb “Cats.” But the result shows how for every “La La Land” or “The Greatest Showman,” there’s another musical that struggles to gain traction beyond hardcore Broadway lovers.

Not helping the cause is a 32% Rotten Tomatoes critics score for “Dear Evan Hansen,” tainting the pre-release word-of-mouth for the film. Fans of the Broadway musical who showed up on opening weekend praised the film with a 93% audience RT score and an A- on CinemaScore, but strong audience reception didn’t save “In The Heights” from a 72% second weekend drop and is unlikely to help “Dear Evan Hansen” draw casual audiences as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and “No Time to Die” are coming to theaters in the next two weekends.

20th Century’s “Free Guy” is in third with $4.1 million in its seventh weekend, bringing its total to $114 million domestic and $317 million worldwide. Universal’s “Candyman” and Warner Bros.’ “Cry Macho” complete the top 5 with “Candyman” taking $2.5 million for a $56.8 million domestic total after five weekends while “Cry Macho” took $2.1 million in its second weekend for an $8.3 million total.