The much-derided Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” continued to prove its critics wrong this week when the show set a new single-week record for ticket sales.
The show grossed $2.94 million for the week ending January 1, beating the previous, year-old record of $2.23 million by “Wicked,” a difference of approximately $700,000. The new record was part of a huge week on Broadway, where overall ticket sales reached $37.65 million.
“Spider-Man” broke the record with a nine-performance week, as opposed to the standard eight. The show plays in a theater with 1,930 seats — an increase of more than 100 above the 1,809-seat theater in which “Wicked” plays.
“We are thrilled that the public has taken such a liking to this show,” producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah J. Harris said in a statement. “The audience continues to grow, and it is great to enter the New Year with such momentum.”
The show appears to benefitting from solid sales of premium tickets, particularly the upper flying circle section, where tickets can reach $300 each at face value. The seats have proved popular because Spider-Man makes a landing In the section during one of the musical’s stunt-flying scenes.
Additionally, two other shows broke the old record last week, “Wicked” with $2.71 million in sales, and “The Lion King” with $2.44 million. The three shows, and Broadway in general, have all benefited from higher overall ticket prices this season.
Many critics, and ticket experts, were skeptical when “Spider-Man” debuted on Broadway just one year ago. The show had made headlines with a disastrous preview, rescheduled opening nights, injured performers and an unheard of budget north of $70 million.
The show has remained a crowd favorite, however, due to the sheer extravagance of the production, and the catchy music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2.
“Very few shows nowadays can run without the stamp of approval from the press,” sales rep J. William Bruce of Applause-Tickets.com told TicketNews. “‘Wicked’ is one. ‘Spider-Man’ is the other. I think it will be around for a few years. People love a spectacle, and until something else like it comes along, it won’t be going anywhere.”