Every week, TicketForce brings you news on one of four industries: racing, sports, theatre, or music. This week’s #TheatreWrap covers the unfortunate Broadway musical flop, “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.” After a three year run on Broadway, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will be closing the curtain with final performances on January 4th.This close is following a drastic drop in ticket sales and will yield historic losses of up to $60 million, causing investors to lose big time.
The ticket sale decrease is mostly blamed on competition with other “hotter” musicals and a lack of star performers. In addition, there was an impossible budget to sustain and an underwhelming music score to match. With musicals like “Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots,” and “Motown,” being fresh, new, and entertaining, “Spider-Man” just couldn’t keep up.
The budget caused the most problems being a record $75 million in capitalization. Just keep the show running each week, it cost between $1 million and $1.3 million . This hefty weekly price sometimes exceeded ticket revenue, especially after ticket sales began to decline. Unique and jaw-dropping special effects cost a pretty penny, one “Spider-Man” just could not afford.
Another factor playing into the failure of this production was the poor musical pairings. The music score, by Bono and the Edge of U2, was intended to be a main selling point of this show as it featured many famous artists. Instead, critics gave poor reviews, causing the opposite to pan out.
Michael Cohl, one of the production’s lead producers, attempted to cast rockstars like Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons as the Green Goblin in hopes to create some fame value and save the show. Although Gene Simmons got far along in the process, it was too little too late and would not have been in enough time to reverse the fate of “Spider-Man.”
“Spider-Man” is not completely done, however. There is talk of it moving to Las Vegas and running it in Germany, where the target market might be more appropriate. What do you think was the biggest factor playing into the failure of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”? Weigh in by leaving a comment below or by sending a tweet to @ticketforce.