There were great expectations for “In the Heights”, the pandemic-delayed movie musical based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-“Hamilton” Broadway hit.
Released on June 10, simultaneously in theatres and on HBO Max, the box office proved to be disappointing when the film earned just $11.5 million in its opening weekend and a total of $22.5 million since it opened.
Star Anthony Ramos, who plays Usnavi (the role originated by Miranda onstage) spoke with The Associated Press to address the box office.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) June 26, 2021
“Nobody’s ever going to talk about how many streams it got on HBO Max. You know? If the movie had come out in the theatres only, who knows what the box office would have been because it only would have been available in the theatre,” he explained.
“But, it was available in people’s living rooms on their TV and they were able to see it that way and many people did. Many people watched it multiple times in their house. That’s what happens. The box office is going to suffer if it’s available somewhere else and it’s more convenient to people to watch it in their house,” he added.
“At the same time, I’m not disappointed at the box office. I’m not,” he said.
“Because people are watching the movie. The most important thing to me is that people are seeing the film,” added Ramos. “I don’t care how you watch it. As long as you see it. The most important thing to me is the message in the movie and that people see it and they feel it. And it will live with them forever. There are certain movies that were cult classics that didn’t do well at the box office at all and left the theater and became smashes… box office is important, but we’re still in a pandemic.”