November 1, 2017
Chapter 10: (Producing and investing)
If you ever wonder why anyone thinks they can make a profit on Broadway and Off Broadway, we have two great examples last month. The “sleeper hit” Come From Away paid back its $12+ million dollar costs in full after only 8 months. From here on in, the investors will see profits on Broadway, on tour, if televised or filmed, with CD sales etc. etc.
The other big surprise is the Off-Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd playing in a tiny theater. It recouped its $1.2 million dollar investment in just 24 weeks. Perhaps the lesson from these two shows is that you need a HIT to do well. And that’s why investing is such a crap-shoot.
Rock icon Bruce Springsteen’s audiences are willing to pay the highest box office prices ever recorded on Broadway, an average of $457 per ticket, almost double that of Hamilton’s regular-priced seats. Of course, the scalpers are finding the richer audiences are willing to pay between $3,000 and $12,500 for a pair of seats to Springsteen. Amazing.
Of course, the shows described above (Come From Away and Sweeney Todd) paid back their investors without exorbitant prices. Supply and ridiculous demand?