“Dear Evan Hansen” Fails to Hit the Right Note at Box Office


September 24-26, 2021

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Shang-Chi and the
Legend of the Ten Rings 
$13.2 million
Dear Evan Hansen $7.5 million
Free Guy  $4.1 million
Candyman $2.5 million
Cry Macho $2.1 million

With its only competition a poorly reviewed Broadway adaptation, Shang-Chi had no problem extending its run at the top of the box office for a fourth straight week. It's the first movie to do that since Tenet. (Pre-pandemic, you'd have to go back to Black Panther.) It's still a few bucks shy of $200 million, but it will cross that next week, where it will finally drop to second place.

Dear Evan Hansen, which got mostly negative reviews, opened in second place with a mere $7.5 million. That's even less than this year's In the Heights, which also had a Tony-winning pedigree but found no audience among the movie-going public. Still, the much-maligned high school musical had a much lower budget than Lin-Manuel Miranda's ode to the Washington Heights neighborhood.

There was little movement in spots three through five. Free Guy inched closer to passing Jungle Cruise and Candyman looks like it will finish with a very respectable $65 million. But some executives may be shedding tears over Cry Macho. Clint Eastwood's latest hasn't even crossed $10 million yet.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Love Story, an Indian romantic drama. It averaged $3,236 on 300 screens. The film is an even bigger hit in its native country.
  • The Eyes of Tammy Faye added more than 900 screens but still saw a drop in its box office tally. Earning only $621,000, that's about a five percent drop from its opening weekend.
  • I'm Your Man, a German romance with a sci-fi twist, turned its good reviews from festivals into a solid limited release. The film averaged more than $2,000 on its 16 screens.

Next week:

October looks to be one of the busiest months of the year, with a major new release every week. First up is Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which has had seemingly dozens of release dates. The sequel to the massively successful Spider-Man-adjacent Marvel flick won't perform anywhere near as well due to the pandemic, but an opening in $35-40 million range still seems within reach. The Addams Family 2 will be lucky to get to $10 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.