After enduring a seemingly endless barrage of bad news — injured performers, poorly received previews and an oft-delayed opening date — producers of the troubled "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" finally have something to cheer about. As it turns out, their production is making money ... lots of it.
According to The New York Times, the "Spider-Man" musical made more than $1.5 million in ticket sales during the first week of January, making it the highest-grossing show on Broadway.
"Spider-Man" knocked off perennial moneymaker "Wicked" to claim the top spot, earning exactly $58 more at the box office than the long-running "Wizard of Oz"-themed play. The Times does add, however, that while "Wicked" had 100 percent of its audience paying for tickets (at an average price of $109.76), "Spider-Man" has been offering some discount and complimentary tickets during its preview period, and that the average paid admission for the show was $102.86. Helping to push "Spider-Man" into the #1 spot was the fact that it plays at the Foxwoods Theater, which has 1,930 seats, while the venue that hosts "Wicked," the Gershwin Theater, has just 1,809.
Still, the Times noted that both productions played to sold-out crowds in early January — a sign that, no matter how bad the press surrounding "Spider-Man" has been (or, perhaps, because of it), the fledgling musical may be positioned to challenge the Broadway supremacy of "Wicked," which has been an out-of-the-box smash since opening in 2003.
"Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," which is directed by Julie Taymor and features a score by U2's Bono and The Edge, will officially open on February 7.
Would you go see the "Spider-Man" musical despite the injuries and bad press? Let us know in the comments.