November 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm #432405
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ Closing In January: WSJ
By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 5:37pm PST
The highest of high-profile musicals, whose beginnings were worthy of their own Broadway drama, is set to shut down after this year’s holiday season ends. The producers will make it official this week, the Wall Street Journal is reporting. In 2011, Julie Taymor’s replacement director Philip William McKinley told Deadline that Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Broadway’s most expensive musical ever, would eventually make its money back. Not so, but considering its wild start — budget blow-outs, several on-set injuries and universally awful reviews all before its opening, and the project jettisoning Taymor and revamping the production afterward — it didn’t do too shabby. Last holiday season it was Broadway’s highest-grossing show, shattering the record for highest single-week gross and highest single-week attendance for any production in the history of the Great White Way. But even then estimates suggested Spider-Man needed to gross $1.2 million a week to cover costs, and as of late it had struggled to fill the massive Foxwoods theatre — it was at 75% capacity last week, according to Broadway League stats — and has been running below break-even for some time, the WSJ says. Still, with a run of 2 years-plus, the producers kept the musical from becoming one of the largest (and most public) flops ever.November 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm #432407
I guess they’re moving on to Vegas.November 19, 2013 at 10:12 am #432408
Deadline can say what they want about it not being a flop, but this still will likely be the biggest money-loser in Broadway history. With the expensive weekly operating nut and the yet-to-be-determined cost of several pending lawsuits, I doubt if this misguided enterprise will ever return a dime of its initial $75 million investment.November 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm #432409
Yeah, it depends on your definition of flop. True, it ran for much longer than most musicals get to. And in that time has employed a number of talented young actors (several of them are acquaintances). However, it has yet to earn back a cent. The balcony to the massive FoxWoods has been off sale for months, so theyve been sitiing on almost 500 seats a night since early fall. And in order for it to earn its weekly running costs and recoup investment, it would have needed to sell out every show for the next 7 years. On top of this they have legal fees for the lawsuits brought on by Julie Taymor and the injured performers. To my knowledge, they havent released how much farther they needed to go to earn back budget (that 7 years could have turned into 12 by now). Though it should be noted that MOST broadway shows never recoup investment.
Due to the spactacke nature, this could arguably do better in Vegas. Perhaps they should have went straight there and skipped Broadway. Hopefully they find a good way to market it out there, and find a more successful run.November 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm #432410
I wouldn’t call every single show that doesn’t recoup a “flop,” because a) it is not typical for most shows to recoup and b) some shows are produced with motivations other than turning a profit; however, Spiderman cannot be considered anything other than a flop. It lost a tremendous amount despite running quite a long period of time, and it doesn’t even benefit for new exposure to the franchise. Spiderman has been extremely popular prior to the Broadway show, and the only press it received was negative (about the production itself) and awful about the hazards it poses to audience and theatergoers.
I am very happy to see this go…
Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.November 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm #432411
New York Times is reporting that the losses on this production by close on Broadway could be $60 million despite having grosses of over $200 million.
Needless to say, nobody is seeing money back from the Broadway stint of this show, and it will take an incredibly long time for any investor to see a penny from the Vegas production and Germany in the future.
Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.November 19, 2013 at 10:33 pm #432412
I just read this too and the numbers just boggle my mind. From the very beginning I just never understood why so much was being thrown into this thing. You dont need to spend over one million dollars a week to make a good show. Just ask Kinky Boots, or Matilda, or Wicked, …or really ANY show since the number is so unprecedented. Im of the mind, especially in theatre, that budget limitations forces creative thinking on the part of the creative team.November 20, 2013 at 6:26 am #432413
I saw this one. It was ok. My issue was that it was forgettable.December 27, 2013 at 2:04 am #432414
There are many reasons behind closing of this popular Broadway show like due to several legal and creative obstacles,many actors suffered injuries due to action sequences.The most important reason is cost.Spiderman show earns $1 million per week but it requires $1.2 million per week to produce it which makes it more expensive.So from January 2014,Spiderman will going to entertain the people of Las Vegas.January 3, 2014 at 10:17 am #432415
Vegas is tough. I’ve been there and so many options for shows and at the end of the day, it comes down to what show isn’t sold out yet so they better price the tickets well becuase thats key to the success of any Vegas show.