This weekend’s crushing box office failure of In the Heights is one more reminder of just how far removed Hollywood, and the entertainment media are from real life.
Expectations were through the roof. Here’s just one example: “Analysts … predict at least a $25-35 million opening for the film but say the film has much greater upside,” TheWrap breathlessly reported only five days ago. “If the film opens above $35 million, it will have posted a higher opening weekend than the 2018 summer musical ‘Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again.'”
Gold Derby predicted $25 to $50 million.
The Variety headlines announced “20 million-plus”!
Let’s not leave out those experting experts of expertise at TheVoxDotCom: “In the Heights isn’t only timely: It’s also based on a beloved existing property, and its early reviews have been mostly raves. Industry observers are nearly unanimous in saying it will be a smash” and “poised to become the film of the summer.”
And then on Sunday morning… Reality strolled in and announced $11 million:
This, naturally, left our Bubbled Elites stunned…
“The result is particularly unexpected considering the musical, which premiered simultaneously in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max, earned an A rating on Cinemascore and a 96% “fresh” score on the review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes,” says the far-left L.A. Times, which then goes on to announce there’s still hope:
The “In the Heights” team can also take heart from the past example of the musical “The Greatest Showman.” Its opening weekend — without the competition of a simultaneous streaming release — was just $8.8 million, below “In the Heights.” Yet the Hugh Jackman-starring film went on to make $438 million worldwide.
Similarly, “In the Heights” could prove to have legs well into the summer box office season, Dergarabedian says. “The good news is that the film has received strong reviews and positive reaction from audiences, so at least ‘In the Heights’ delivers the goods and makes for happy subscribers and [moviegoers].”
Like most of America, I haven’t seen In the Heights, even though I could watch it on HBO Max, but life is too short, and I get tired of writing negative reviews. It’s not in my nature to be a negative person, and there’s nothing about the publicity and hype around In the Heights that gives me any confidence I won’t hate every minute of it.
A celebration of Hispanic culture! Please kill me now.
From the creator of “Hamilton!” I’m begging you to kill me.
It’s two hours and twenty-three minutes long! Yeah, that’s like Guns of Navarone-long.
Okay, but what’s the story?
Oh, and then there are those trailers filled with a “joy” and “exuberance” so forced it felt oppressive. If you don’t love this movie, you hate brown people and the gheys!!!
And why’s my Woketard Alert alarm screaming at Defcon 1?
Oh, here’s why:
The most pointed changes to In the Heights are also the most political ones, largely centering on the minor character of Sonny. Sonny is Usnavi’s 16-year-old cousin and sidekick who helps him out at the bodega, and onstage, he has a couple of solos about the disenfranchisement of Washington Heights.
“What about immigration?” he raps in one song. “Politicians be hating. Racism in this nation’s gone from latent to blatant.”
“You are so cute,” Vanessa coos in response.
Oh, yeah, cuz chicks dig da’ woke.
In the movie, Sonny’s role has been expanded. Now he goes to protests in defense of DREAMers, and when he starts to talk about the plight of undocumented immigrants, the moment is very far from a joke. Like much of the rest of America, In the Heights came out of the Trump era radicalized. The show is more certain than ever that the status quo is untenable — and a lot less willing to be circumspect about that idea.
Oh, it’s CNNLOL set to songs no one’s familiar with!
Many, many years ago, I learned the hard way not to make box office predictions. Still, the rat I smelled around the promotion and hype of In the Heights stunk to high heaven and not a little like a gaslighting campaign selling it as something that’s Already a blockbuster you need to see, if you don’t want to feel left out of the cultural conversation!!!
Here’s an example of the movie’s director trying a little too hard:
I snuck into some theaters tonight to see how audiences are reacting… and OH MY GAWD the time has come for REAL!!! The movies are back!!! This energy was insannnnneeeeee. You must see it to believe it!!! #InTheHeightsMovie 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/CQeDNiP8Kb
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) June 11, 2021
First off, even Hispanics don’t want to see movies that celebrate being Hispanic. That’s not entertaining. That’s homework. Dear Racist Hollywood: Hispanics are just like the rest of us, so what they’re looking for at the movies is entertainment, not a lecture. And a promotion campaign that basically said, You’re going to love this movie because skin tone!, was — let me be generous — just a tad condescending.
I’ve spent two-thirds of my life with a Mexican immigrant who loves her culture and traditions, but Because Brown is not enough to sucker her into watching a lecture.
Another of the entertainment media’s hilarious miscalculations was Lin-Manuel Miranda! Gee, I hate to burst your bubble, but almost no one knows who this guy is. If not for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, neither would I. Sure, he’s adored in the elite salons of Hollywood and the establishment media, but in the real world… Yeah, no.
Is it possible In the Heights could have legs like The Greatest Showman? Sure, anything’s possible, but The Greatest Showman had a story and a universal theme about accepting outsiders and Hugh Jackman.
So as of right now, the Woke Emperor — despite a full-blown gaslighting campaign, millions and millions of dollars in free publicity from Film Twitter’s mindless Woketards, and all that Warner Bros. money — has no clothes, and now sits alongside Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey, Charlie’s Angels, Ghostbusters 3, Terminator: Dark Fate, Men in Black 4 and the glaring underperformance of the later Star Wars movies as a woke box office catastrophe.