The new Spider-Man tuner, "Turn Off the Dark," is still weeks away from opening but it drew enough curiosity-seekers last week to edge "Wicked" off of its perennial perch atop the box office chart. Granted, its margin of victory was a mere $58 as both shows took in almost $1.6 million.
As the U2-penned musical is still a work-in-progress under the direction of Tony champ Julie Taymor, it has been offering discounts, dropping the average ticket price to $102.86 compared to $109.76 for the long-running "Wicked." However, with both musicals playing to full houses, "Turn Off the Dark" could have the edge going forward as the Foxwood Theater seats 121 more people than the Marquis where "Wicked" has been packing them in since November, 2003.
Granted, "Wicked" does very well with premium seating with a sizeable block of tickets going for upwards of $250. For "Turn Off the Dark" to tap into this lucrative market, it will have to win over the critics when it finally opens on Feb. 7. While the show has become a must-see for theater gossips, hoping to be there for the latest mishap, the highly-technical tuner will have to weave its magic seamlessly if it is to continue to top "Wicked."
Image: "Turn Off the Dark" promotional poster (Foxwood Theatre)