At the Broadway League conference: Day 1/How many movie turned musicals have made money?

It’s that time of year! It’s the Broadway League Spring Conference!

This week, the umpteen Broadway League members from all the states across the Union descend on New York City to feast on all the new shows, and on Frankie and Johnny’s steaks.
In between the shows and the cocktail parites, there are a bunch of sessions about marketing, union relations, more marketing, new economic models, and then we hit marketing one more time.
Today was Day 1, which saw some interesting panels, including a return visit from Ben Self of Blue State Digital who spoke at the Winter conference.  Ben was responsible for the Barack Obama online campaign which raised a bazillion dollars . . . online.
But what got me thinking at today’s conference was some coffee break chatter about the movie-to-musical trend.  Someone asked if this current craze was bearing fruit . . .
Good question, my fellow Broadway Leaguer!
We’ve talked about how Hollywood adaptations were gaining market share on Broadway in this post . . . but the most important question is . . . are movies making money?
You all know me well enough my now to know that I couldn’t leave this unanswered.  So, I went and did some quick figuring.
I counted 32 musicals made from movies in the last 20 years.  Of those, only 9 were financially successful. That means only 28.125% of musicals made from movies are making money, which is 8.125% above the anecdotal average that states 20% of broadway shows make money (the 1 in 5 ratio).
So maybe there is a little edge. But not much.  I certainly wouldn’t go buying 20th Century Fox’s library on 8.125%, that’s for sure.
Cuz it’s never about the source of the material. It’s about the story in the material.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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