In the Heights, the long-awaited Lin-Manuel Miranda film has finally arrived, with excited fans flocking to theaters on HBO Max on Thursday and into the weekend.
The film, which follows a group of Latino characters in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, has received mostly positive reviews, and early indications are that it will draw large crowds, following a slew of other popular summer releases such as A Quiet Place Part 2 and Godzilla vs Kong.
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In a poll of 1,300 moviegoers conducted by Fandango, 96 percent indicated In the Heights, which is based on Miranda’s successful Broadway musical, would be the first picture they see after the outbreak, and the Jon M Chu-directed film is the top-selling show for this Friday and Saturday.
If the film succeeds in attracting audiences, it will be a boon to an industry that has been affected hard by the pandemic. In most states, movie theaters were among the latest to reopen after the lockdown, and in New York, for example, most are still only around one-third full.
The author’s opinion about the film
Miranda, who co-wrote the film with QuiaraAlegraHudes, said in an interview with NBC that the two sought to emphasize Latino individuals and culture, which are both typically disregarded in Hollywood output.
Miranda explained that they were making up for a lost time.
The film is based on Miranda’s 2008 musical of the same name, which came before his worldwide smash hit Hamilton. He and Hudes told NBC that they sought to develop non-stereotypical Latino characters: “Quiara and I kept to our guns and kept to what we felt was necessary for the show’s storytelling.”
According to CNBC, movie theater ticket sales dropped by 90% in the first quarter of 2021, but with 75% of North American cinemas now open, the previous two weekends have established pandemic-era ticket sales records.
The four-day Memorial Day weekend brought in $100 million in ticket sales in North America, which is less than half of the $232 million in the same period last year, but a positive indication for studio executives.
In the Heights received three stars from Guardian writer Peter Bradshaw, who called it “a sweet-natured film with Sunny-D optimism and a no-place-like-home ethic,” with “a very quaint vision of street life, whose unrealities probably worked better on stage.”
The author’s dream has finally come true
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights debut wasn’t just a dream come true for him; it was everything he had hoped for.
The 41-year-old Heights lyricist, composer, and original Broadway star was on hand to launch the film adaptation of his blockbuster musical at the Tribeca Film Festival’s opening night on Wednesday when he gave a hyped-up speech about how significant the night was.
Miranda explained how the event, which took place in the United Palace theater in his hometown of Washington Heights, was a complete full circle for him.
Miranda stated as he stood in front of the enormous screen, “Before Hamilton before I had any money, I did halfsies on this screen with [the theater].” I said I’d pay half the cost of a new Palace screen if you guys paid the other half. And we succeeded.
I had to pay for the HD projector before I could afford to pay for it.
So when I say this isn’t a dream come true, I mean it’s seven dreams coming true at once,” Miranda remarked as the crowd erupted in applause.