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.