UPDATES FOR READERS OF “THE BUSINESS OF BROADWAY”
May 1, 2016
Chapter 13 (Box Office): It was announced this month that box office statements can now separate online sales into two categories: mobile and desktop, a long-awaited feature, providing producers and marketing staff with even more detailed information than ever before.
Chapter 13 (Box Office): New York cracks down on ticket brokers. NY’s attorney general announced a settlement fining the largest brokers $3 million (perhaps a few days pay?), the elimination of the use of BOTS (that can buy up large numbers of tickets for re-sale in a mini-second), and changes in how they promote and market their businesses.
Since these ticket brokers have been reselling tickets to the biggest hits for thousands of dollars each, Hamilton now plans to increase its premium priced seats to $995 (highest ever) to pull the steam out of brokers and scalpers. On the other hand, it is anticipated that some brokers will raise their re-sold tickets upwards of $4000 each. No one is studying why rich people are willing to spend these prices, but since they are, the producers are trying to keep some of those exorbitant prices for themselves.
Chapter 15 (Actors): HAMILTON continues to make news by sharing a percentage of the producers’ royalties with the original cast members of the show. This is not required by their Equity contracts, but it is an acknowledgement that many of them contributed to the writing of the super-hit musical. The first instance of “cast royalties” came with the creation of A CHORUS LINE in 1975 when the original cast members shared their own personal stories from which a script was developed in workshop over an entire year. This was later developed into the first “workshop” agreement with Actors’ Equity. During this workshop, the original cast was paid $100/week and shared 1.5% of the shows profits. However, they have since complained that this was too little considering it was their life stories that are used in the show. As of today, it is not public knowledge how much the HAMILTON cast is sharing, but the percentage comes from the Producers’ share, not the Investors’ share.
Chapter 26 (Resources): BroadwayBriefing.com, the singularly complete and concise reporting of news on Broadway, celebrated its one-year anniversary on April 28, 2016. It is free for everyone, and has grown an audience of over 5000 industry insiders from just word of mouth. This FREE e-newsletter offers opening, closing, review links, casting decisions, upcoming shows, staff listings, special events etc. on a daily basis. Congrats to Matt.