Robot 6

‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’ ticket sales dip to record low

spider-man-turn off the dark

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark grossed a record-low $966,952 in ticket sales last week, the first time since performances began in November 2010 that the musical — at $75 million, the most expensive in Broadway history — dipped below $1 million for a standard eight-performance week.

Although The New York Times notes that sales have been softening since last year, a spokesman for the production attributed the drop to “fallout” from the serious injury suffered Aug. 15 by dancer Daniel Curry, whose leg was pinned by an automated trap door during a performance. That night’s show was canceled and Curry was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he remains.

“When a show like Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark suffers a very public trauma, as it did the previous week, we expect there to be some fallout at the box office,” production spokesman Rick Miramontez said in a statement. “To be honest, we are less concerned with ticket sales at the moment and more concerned with the recovery of Daniel Curry, but Spider-Man remains one of the highest-grossing shows on Broadway, and we expect this dip to be little more than a temporary reaction to the media coverage.”

As the newspaper points out, the record low is particularly noteworthy because producers have long pointed to the box office as evidence that Spider-Man has rebounded from the early production problems and scathing reviews that led to the March 2011 firing of co-creator and original director Julie Taymor and sweeping overhaul of the musical. But on a more practical level, it also means the elaborate show didn’t even cover its weekly running expenses): Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark costs a reported $1.2 million to produce each week.

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16 Comments

Or the canceled performance impacted the week’s intake sufficiently to make the total dip noticeably.

This is still happening?

Is anybody really surprised about this? I mean, the kinda people who read comic books and like Spider-man aren’t exactly the same audience who like musical theater, right?

Jason M. Bryant

August 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

Are the people who like Disney movies or Mel Brooks movies the same audience as the audience for musical theater? how about people who like cats? Or paying rent?

There’s plenty of overlap. The people who like musicals aren’t different from anyone else.

Just wait until DC comes out with it’s new line of Broadway musical comic books next year and then you’ll see the crossovers. I mean I hear it’s going to start with a six issue Les Misérables with glow in the dark 3-D covers. They are then going to cover Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof and others. This is going to lead into true crossovers. the Batman Family is going to cross over into West Side Story…and it’s going to be called “The Adam West Side Story”.

I love comic books and because of my wife love the theater as well. I saw Lion King and The Sands about three years ago, and since then my wife and I are part of the Broadway across America tour ticket holders.

Rahadyan Sastrowardoyo

August 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

I’m sure there will be a Inhumans musical soon. However, Medusa will be replaced by Medea.

I had the misfortune to see this show a few months ago. I’m glad we got discounted tickets, b/c the show is terrible. The only good thing was Spidey swinging around the theatre, that was wonderful.

Adults will hate it but kids will like it IMO.

I wouldn’t see this show again for FREE, its that bad…

I don’t agree with Emm. I like musical theater and I enjoy comic books. And musical theater has taken inspiration from many interesting sources lately. The last musical I saw was Jersey Boys, which is based on a biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Previous to that we saw Mary Poppins. These were made for fans of classic oldies and a Disney movie, who are not necessarily fans of musicals.

However…

From what I’ve seen of “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark”? It seems to be make by folks who have no love of the source material. Jersey Boys, for example, was filled with love and admiration for the band. The Mary Poppins musical added new elements, but you could get lost imagining that this is the same world you knew and loved from the movie.

The Spider-Man musical, though, seems to be going out of its way to distance itself from superheroes. Well, outside of making everything look like it was straight out of a Schumacher film. I guess we can forgive Julie Taymor for trying to imprint her unique artistic vision on a pre-existing source material (it worked for the Lion King, after all). However, including a new character named “Swiss Miss” and having a scene where the Green Goblin plays piano can easily be interpreted as contempt for anyone who ever had any love for comic books.

Wait, does this mean that this show consistently makes OVER $1 MILLION PER WEEK, each and every week (except one, because of a canceled show)… and it’s being portrayed as some kind of failure?

How much money does the average Broadway play make, anyway? Clearly, I am in the wrong business.

@Jon: staging things live is incredibly expensive, though. Think about all the staff it takes to, say, stage a TV show. Grips, audio engineers, lighting, actors, musicians, etc. Pretty pricey, right? Each TV episode probably costs more than $1 million dollars. Now imagine having to pay these people to put on a show pretty much every night. The reason $1 Million is considered a failure is because all that gets eaten up in the costs of paying everyone to put on a show.

Also, theater tickets? Very pricey. I’ve never been to Broadway, but the cheap seats to a touring company here in Seattle costs you $60. So there’s a lot of money to be had, but a lot of money to be lost too.

yup why is there always so much drama surrounding this show?

I’m sure there will be a Inhumans musical soon. However, Medusa will be replaced by Medea.

I’d watch a musical about the Inhumans. Black Bolt’s big solwould, of course, be performed in mime.

“Also, theater tickets? Very pricey. I’ve never been to Broadway, but the cheap seats to a touring company here in Seattle costs you $60. So there’s a lot of money to be had, but a lot of money to be lost too.”

$60?!? I only wish we had that in NYC.

Most shows on Broadway now start at around the $100+ range for tickets…

haven’t watched the spidey musical but from what I’ve seen when they’ve showed up on TV it feels like they went the wrong way. It looks like a Rock Opera, I figured a spider-man musical would be a big goofey fun. This should have felt lie a giant Ralph Bakshi cartoon

This production has killed more men than Cecil B. DeMille.

– MrJM

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