Curtains closing. But what is missing?

Look at these three clippings announcing the final curtain of Curtains:

The New York Times

Broadway.com

Playbill.com

What is missing from each of these announcements?

Ok, you don’t have to read them all, I’ll tell you . . .

There’s no indication of whether or not the show recouped or not.  Which means . . . it didn’t.

Sad.

This is what’s wrong with the the current economics of our industry.

Here’s a show that got some decent reviews, has stars (including one that won a Tony for his performance), ran more than a year, had decent word of mouth.  It wasn’t a great show, but it was fine.

I wouldn’t expect stellar profits from a show like this, but I would expect to break-even, wouldn’t you?

Maybe it will, eventually, through subsidiary rights and additional companies all over the world.  But we should work hard at making our investors whole based on the Broadway experience alone (the more we give them back, the more they’ll put it back in).

A great show (as determined by the audience) should produce great returns.

A decent show, should produce decent returns.

An ass show, should produce ass returns.

Or that’s my goal anyway.  I hope it’s yours (except for the ass part).

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Comments
  • Josh Parkin says:

    Ken,
    I worked on a theme park show that was ground breaking, award winning and very popular. The show could even, with the right book writers, work in New York. Since it wasn’t in a typical venue, how would say that show recouped? What, in your opinion, are the factors that consider the show was a success?
    Thanks,
    ~Josh

  • Cedric Yau says:

    Maybe theater is really a “Not-For-Profit” industry. If a show only recoups half, that is a 50% loss for the investors. Now as a supporter of the theatre, would it be better to get your tax break/deduction on Year 0 from a Non-Profit, or on Year 3 from a For-Profit venue.
    This makes one wonder how the producers made out on Curtains. While not a home run, what is the return of the producing fee compared to initial investment?

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