The Greatest Showman premiered in the US on December 20, 2017, just in time for Christmas. Opening on the Wednesday before the holiday gave the film the advantage of the family crowd, yet, it had a lackluster opening weekend. On a budget of $84 million, it's mere $8.8 million opening weekend had to have the producers shaking in their boots a bit.
But much like the film's message of never giving up on your dreams, they didn't lose hope, and the film tripled its opening weekend gross the following week. It ended up grossing over $174 million in the US alone; its worldwide gross - $434.5 million! As a result of the word of mouth popularity of the film, it stayed in theaters well into March - three months after its original premiere date, which is nearly unheard of! Now the question remains, why?
My theory, and I'm sure many others would agree, is that the family-film marketplace has been a dry well recently. The Greatest Showman offered a fun film that people of all ages could enjoy, so much so that they would see it multiple times - I can tell you I saw it 5 or 6 in the theaters myself! The draw to the film lies in not only the incredible performances by the crazy-talented cast, but in its feel-good message of pursuing your dreams while staying true to who are and always keeping in mind what is really important.
For those that haven't seen the film, it (loosely) follows the story of P.T. Barnum and his start of his now famous circus. We see him as a child, discriminated against for being poor, who dreams of becoming something more and making a difference in the world, and especially in the world of his childhood sweetheart, Charity, who hails from a wealthy family. We follow the trials they face and the pride Barnum develops, and in the end we're left with the warm fuzzies that this world needs.
One of the songs is titled "A Million Dreams" and it describes the world Barnum wants to give to Charity. It is such a hope-filled song that also encompasses the innocence that we all seem to outgrow. This film is absolutely one of my favorites because of its message of hope, love, family, and fighting for your dreams - even if they don't turn out exactly like you thought they would. Everyone needs hope in their lives, and a reminder that their million dreams not only matter, but that they can make them happen.