Broadway's Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark Will Have Lost Nearly $60 Million By Closing Date

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20 Nov 2013

Current <i>Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark</i> star Justin Mathew Sargent
Current Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark star Justin Mathew Sargent

The multimillion dollar musical Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark — the most expensive musical in Broadway history, capitalized at $75 million — will have historic losses of up to $60 million when it closes Jan. 4, 2014.

According to the New York Times, several investors said that they have not been paid back anything during the three-year run of Spider-Man and plan to write off their investments. The investors are placing blame on the show's costly upkeep and the musical's lackluster score by Bono and the Edge.

The production, which averages a weekly cost of over $1 million, has been taking in a weekly gross that has not reached the million-dollar mark in recent months. For the week of Nov. 11-17, the production took in $742,595, with an average ticket price of $77.84 and a theatre at 75.3 percent capacity.

While the show has taken in more than $200 million at the box office and has been seen by approximately two million theatregoers, lead producer Michael Cohl acknowledged that many investors will lose all of their money unless Spider-Man thrives in future productions.

As previously reported, following Spider-Man's Broadway close, the musical is planned to fly into Las Vegas.



Cohl and the show's other lead producer, Jeremiah J. Harris, have been paid back portions of their multimillion-dollar priority loans.

"I think the investors will eventually see something, but look, this is showbiz," Cohl told the Times. "I hope the show will be a huge hit in Vegas and Germany and on an arena tour, and then I expect them to see some money back. But it will be a long road and take a long time."

Previous reports indicate that producers of King Kong are eyeing the Foxwoods Theatre as a possible Broadway home for the large-scale production.

Spider-Man began previews Nov. 28, 2010, and officially opened June 14, 2011. The production was known for having the longest preview period of all time. The musical features a book by Julie Taymor, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge.

Before the production's opening, original director Taymor was let go, and playwright and comic book writer Aguirre-Sacasa was enlisted by the musical's creative team to make revisions to the book alongside Berger. Taymor then filed a lawsuit against the producers of the musical, claiming they violated her creative rights and did not compensate her for her work on the musical. The lawsuit was settled out of court in April 2013.

Read the Playbill.com article documenting the legal issues of Spider-Man.

The production suffered numerous injuries during its preview period and following the opening, including cast members Christopher Tierney and, more recently, Daniel Curry. Following his injury, Curry filed court papers to ensure that the lift, which played a part in his accident, was not altered until it was examined.

Visit SpiderManOnBroadway.com.