After a tumultuous three years on Broadway marked by cast injuries, public feuds and, lately, dwindling ticket sales, the $75 million musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will close in January, with plans to reopen in 2015 in Las Vegas.
Although the show has been popular, routinely grossing $1 million or a week in ticket sales (at least until recently), it's the most expensive musical in Broadway history, costing $1.2 million a week to produce. Spider-Man pulled in just $742,595 last week, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that it's been running below the break-even point for some time now. The production has grossed $703 million since performances began in November 2010, but because even sold-out performances barely cover running expenses, investors have seen little return.
“The show is, I would say, middling,” producer Jeremiah J. Harris told The New York Times. “We could run for probably another three to five years being stuck in the middle. We think it will play Las Vegas with a greater bang than it did in New York.”
The Australian musical King Kong is tipped to move into Spider-Man's home at the Foxwoods Theatre, which will again have to go extensive remodeling.
Appropriately enough the subject of a tell-all book, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has been a soap opera almost from the start, plagued by a ballooning budget, creative conflicts and a series of injuries that culminated in the March 2011 firing of co-creator and original director Julie Taymor and a complete overhaul of the widely panned show. The revamped show reopened to positive reviews and brisk sales, the injuries continued -- at least six cast members have been hurt since performances began -- with the most recent occurring on Aug. 15.