Picture this: You are a fan of Mel Brooks, and you really want to see Young Frankenstein playing at the Hilton Theatre. But at $450 for the top ticket, you’ve had second thoughts. That charge, for The Producers preceding it and now for “Young Frankenstein,” may be the highest price ever charged for a single seat at a Broadway show, but now you can get it for $50 to $120 below face value and well in line with other Broadway shows. Where did the $450, $350, and $225 seats go?
It seems the producers, Robert F.X. Sillerman and Mel Brooks (who publicly complained about the high-priced tickets) learned too late that the public impression was that all tickets were over-priced. Hence, the fire sale of sorts for tickets. Sillerman, by the way, is reported to own “American Idol” and part of the Elvis Presley estate.
One look at the two weeks’ Broadway Ticket Sales Report and Variety’s estimate of “Young Frankenstein’s” box office sales, and it is evident that sales are slipping. Six productions in the million-dollar club – and “Young Frankenstein” isn’t on the list.
The New York Times quoted Don Vaccaro, CEO of TicketNews’ parent company TicketNetwork.com, “Young Frankenstein is showing the signs of not having any legs.” Vaccaro went on to say sales at TicketNetwork for “Young Frankenstein” rank as the fifth highest-selling of all shows, but in dollar figures its sales numbers are less than half what they were just three months ago.
It doesn’t help that the show has not had good reviews for the most part either. In contrast, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” has not met with good reviews but is doing quite well.
Looking for other reasons that “Young Frankenstein” didn’t follow in The Producers footsteps, one is that there has been little demand for group tickets. Availability was extremely limited in the first weeks by the powers-that-be, and group sales agents now have little demand for them. Now, however, there’s strong marketing on the show’s website to groups.