This is a movie severely hurt by HBO Max. Musicals never open big, but they almost never open this low, either. I know I certainly would’ve gone to a theater to watch the movie if not for HBO Max and my brother and a bunch of his theater friends are having a viewing party tonight… at home where the cost per person is about <$1 per person if you measure it out based on the Max subscription cost. My sister is also watching the movie tonight (again at home) at my dad's house with 4-5 other people. My dad and his wife are the type that used to love going to the movie theaters, but now that they're given the option to watch from home, they're taking advantage because for a large amount of people, it just makes economic sense to pay a one-time cost of $15 for Max rather than $12 per person to see a movie in a theater.Prediction: this is going to have legs and going to do well second weekend based on word-of-mouth.
HBO Max also undercut theaters by making the movie available to watch at midnight on Thursday. The first showings in theaters that day weren’t until roughly 6 or 7pm, so if you were very eager to see it, HBO Max was gonna be your go to option.
Opening movies day and date just makes no financial sense if you aren’t going to ask for an additional fee to watch the movies. I think the way Universal is doing things makes the most sense. It incentivizes people to go to the theater, but also gives them the flexibility to get their movies out of theaters quicker than before.