UPDATE MONDAY 4;43PM: For the week ending October 20th, “Spider Man” was down again. The week’s take was $856,976 out of a possible $1.5 million, according to Playbill.com.
EARLIER MONDAY: “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark” is now officially struggling at the box office. While November 28 will mark its third unofficial anniversary on Broadway, the $75 million show is starting to show real signs of financial wear and tear. After a difficult summer, producers stopped selling around 400 of the 1,930 seats at the Foxwoods Theater. The immediate result was a drop in the average weekly box office from $1.1 million to around $960,000 a week. (I’m rounding these numbers off.)
But the return of kids to school and the end of summer vacation proved to be worse than thought. For the week ending September 29th, “Spider Man” took in only $629,000. That was from a possible total sale of $1.5 million. But that’s with the 400 seats gone. “Spider Man” at its nadir played at 68% of its total capacity the last week of the summer– and that was with the lower audience capacity.
Also a trend to notice: last week the average ticket price was only $69.71. The top full price ticket was offered at $247. That means a lot of discounting..
It was thought as the saga of “Turn off the Dark” became a public soap opera that the musical needed to take in at least $1 million a week to keep going. But beginning around early August, according to a graph on Playbill.com, “Spider Man” has been on a downward trend. For October 6th, things weren’t much better than the previous week. Last week, ending October 13th, showed an uptick back to around the $960,000 mark thanks to Columbus Day weekend. New numbers for the week ending yesterday will be out later today.
Of course “Spider Man” is not news anymore. It’s been eclipsed by “Kinky Boots,” “Motown,” “Matilda,” and “Pippin.” New shows, like “Big Fish,” are arriving one after another.
Another part of the problem is that its star, Reeve Carney, is gone. He also left during the summer. Whoever’s playing Peter Parker/Spider Man now may be terrific, but no one knows his name. Carney, who’d toughed it out from Day 1, at least had a following.
“Spider Man” now must have a break-out holiday season. Other wise, January– the deadest month of the year on Broadway–could prove a more fearsome enemy than the Green Goblin.