Longevity and Touring Potential for Matilda

TioSalamanca
Swing
joined:10/2/13
I'm admittedly new to these boards and merely a casual fan/observer of theater so I apologize if this question seems ignorant - just looking for some educated input. I recently saw Matilda on Broadway and really loved it. I had heard great things about the West End production and was pleasantly surprised that, for me, it lived up to the hype. It did have some neat effects and things like that, but what really made me fall in love with it were the simpler things - namely the clever/witty lyrics and quirky humor.

Anyway getting to my questions…In your opinion, what would you estimate would be a realistic amount of time for this show to run? After reading some of the posts on these boards in an attempt to answer my own question, it seems like a mixed consensus. On one hand, I kind of got the impression that maybe the show isn't doing QUITE as well as expected (people were pointing out that it was listed on TKTS etc.). But then other posts seemed to be saying the show is doing well (which is what I'm hoping). Judging by numbers thus far, how is it doing financially? I'd love to be able to take my family to see it, but it would involve planning another trip to NYC, which might not happen for a while. I guess that sort of leads to my next question - is it likely to tour? Some people seem to think it would be deemed too expensive to tour with so many kids, which surprised me. Is there truth to that?

I guess from what I'd heard, I felt like this show should be a sure blockbuster hit that would be around for a while. But for some reason after reading some things, I'm starting to get the sinking feeling that Matilda might be struggling a little more than expected. Am I completely off here?

And just to preemptively clarify something - I am not trolling and am certainly not trying to encourage any "anti-Matilda" posts or anything. I just found this show really charming and think it deserves to run for a while. I figured the posters here would be able to give me the best idea of how it's doing and how long it might be around . Thanks
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
If I were a betting man, I'd say it would run on Broadway for another 3 -4 years.
aasjb4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/09
Didn't the OP mean to say

DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING
What a colossal piece of crap! It'll probably run for years.
Updated On: 10/8/13 at 06:28 PM
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
There is a section on here that reports the weekly grosses and it is updated for each week. From there you can access each shows' historical gross as well. Matilda has been posting pretty healthy numbers up to this point and seems to have followed the standard pattern of most shows. So on weeks when a lot of shows saw their numbers dip Matilda was among them and on other weeks that are normally known for being weeks that you would expect to see good numbers the show was also posting good numbers. I would agree with Jordan that it should probably be around for 3 or 4 years total, and will probably do fairly well on the road as well.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
brldisteach2
Understudy
joined:11/28/11
As for shows that have a lot of children-they've toured Annie plenty of times, so I don't think the fact that it has children would stop a tour. I think of a few other shows that have toured with several children including King and I and Oliver.

I also loved the show, and it seems to still be doing well. Even though it has been at TKTS, it still has generally been posting numbers over $1 million.
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
I imagine the biggest challenge to touring this would be the set. It is pretty intricate, and a lot would have to be cut and/or changed in order to tour the show. I am surprised there has not been a UK tour yet...
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Wormwood
Swing
joined:8/21/13
I found the article I referenced in a post on another thread. This came from the nytimes arts beat blog (June 11, 2013) and has the most detailed inside info on a MATILDA tour I've been able to find anywhere:

While “Matilda” emerged from the bruising Tonys race in solid financial shape on Broadway, its producers have yet to make a final decision about whether to begin a national tour of the show. While most acclaimed musicals spin off touring productions a year after opening on Broadway, and while a “Matilda” tour is likely, its lead producer, Michael David, said in an interview on Tuesday that there was still “an art problem and a math problem that we have to solve.”

“We’ve done tours with child actors before, like ‘The Secret Garden’ and “The King and I,’ but never ones with as many kids as in ‘Matilda’ – 16 – or with kids so young,” said Mr. David, president of Dodgers Properties, the veteran Broadway producing group that is mounting “Matilda” with its original producer, the Royal Shakespeare Company of Britain. “How does one preserve the critical element of the production without doing harm to the children? We don’t foresee a serious reduction in their numbers.”

Referring to the show’s Tony-winning sets and lighting, he added: “The physical production of the musical is special, so how do we capture the essence of the production and make it mobile enough to get in and out of cities quickly and in a financially sound way, for just a week or two of performances?”

Mr. David said losing the best musical Tony – which he declined to analyze, calling it “an unproductive journey” – would not deter “Matilda” from touring. The director Matthew Warchus and the designers are now mulling the physical scale of a touring version, and considering changes to make the show easier to move, while the producers are talking to tour presenters in key cities about booking scenarios.

Some tour presenters say the “Matilda” team has been a tough negotiator, reluctant to play only a single week in small and medium-sized cities where presenters see demand for “Matilda” as low. But Mr. David said the producers would be flexible and would not want to stay too long and risk playing to empty seats.
evic
Leading Actor
joined:3/5/04
2 1/2 years tops. Americans don't cotton to British musicals that are too British. Like Billy Eliot, the hype was too much and the shows didn't match what was expected. The score of Matilda is better than Billy and the sets are spectacular, but I left the theater feeling meh. Just my opinion.
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
It will probably run somewhere between BILLY ELLIOT's 1300+ performances and SPAMALOT's 1500+ performances. NEWSFLASH: a show does not have to run 10+ years to be considered a hit!
mikey2573
Broadway Star
joined:12/28/10
I predict it will go for all of 2014 and then close the first Sunday of 2015, when lots of shows close. A respectable run. I don't think it is as big here in the states as it is in the UK.
Musicalboy2
Swing
joined:10/9/13
Also Kinky was the Underdog without the press or reviews and I think it appeals to the American market more. And talks about American hopes and dreams despite it being set in the UK
KathyNYC2
Broadway Star
joined:12/2/10
I am a huge fan of KB but I am not sure why that would affect the touring capability of Matilda. Yes winning the best show at the Tony's can't hurt.. but there are enough people who love Matilda the book or LOVE Matilda the movie who are looking to take the kids to a kid friendly show - that I am sure the Matilda tour would be successful.

I don't really think the Billy Elliot analogy works in this case either. Matilda and Billy Elliot are both British - but Matilda was a wildly popular American movie while Billy Elliot the movie certainly had it's fans in the US (me included) but you can't compare the popularity of the two. Matilda is a much bigger draw IMO.

I would like to think that the American public who don't come to NY would have the opportunity to see both successful shows.

Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Matilda should recoup by mid 2014. I imagine a tour will happen but probably not until 2015.

Billy Elliot was a hit but it was simply too expensive hence why it closed on Broadway and why the tour had to be downsized.
Comden Green
Understudy
joined:8/19/12
Matilda is a much better show than Billy Elliot. Though it is a great show it is too dark for young kids. The kids near me in the theatre were not laughing. They looked terrified, which, I suppose, is ok but they aren't "getting" the show.

Further, the English accents are very difficult to follow. (obviously, not a problem in UK). The lyrics are brilliant but incredibly difficult to follow. I think those things limit the extent of the run and the touring possibilities.

and it sounds like trunchbull is not as powerful without bertie.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Matilda and Billy Elliot are both British - but Matilda was a wildly popular American movie while Billy Elliot the movie certainly had it's fans in the US (me included) but you can't compare the popularity of the two. Matilda is a much bigger draw IMO.

Huh? That's...news to me. It may seem more popular because of the kids who grew up watching the video or on an family-friendly cable channel, but it's not really "wildly popular". It's not like it's going to show up as an answer on Family Feud or anything.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
KathyNYC2
Broadway Star
joined:12/2/10
LOL..No probably not on Family Feud. Not THAT popular. However, re-runs of the Matilda movie STILL show up regularly on ABC Family or some other family friendly channel. Billy Elliot is more apt to show up on late night TV. People remember Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman..not too many recognizable faces in Billy E.

Certainly more people who hear that Matilda the Musical will be on tour will make the analogy with the Matilda movie - more than would happen with Billy Elliot. My opinion of course...but Matilda is going to be a bigger draw that Billy.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Matilda airs more regularly because it is a family-friendly film, which is just par for the course but doesn't really have much to do with popularity. People do remember DeVito and Perlman, but Mara Wilson? I sincerely doubt it. I think she made more of an impression in the Miracle on 34th Street remake, but she's long since faded from what little impact she had in public memory for the few films she made as a child.

Certainly more people who hear that Matilda the Musical will be on tour will make the analogy with the Matilda movie - more than would happen with Billy Elliot.

More people under 30, perhaps. Billy Elliot was nominated for Best Picture and was pretty widely recognized at the time as the surprising underdog film of the year. Perhaps the younger generation don't remember its impact as they it wasn't on a family or children's cable channel when they were little, but the film pervaded pop culture in a way that Matilda never did. Virtually every adult aged 30+ I mentioned the musical of Matilda to, I've had to explain that it was based on a Roald Dahl book and there was an American film version. Even before the musical was announced, you could mention Billy Elliot to virtually any adult and they were at least familiar with the title.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
mikey2573
Broadway Star
joined:12/28/10
The movie MATILDA made $33.5 million domestically. It cost $36 million to make.
The movie BILLY ELLIOT made $22 million domestically. It cost $5 million to make.
MATILDA -#3 million
BILLY +$17 million.

"Matilda is a much better show than Billy Elliot."

BILLY has ten Tony Awards that might dispute that claim, including most of the major categories. MATILDA won 4, one supporting actor, one for book, and then 2 for its design team.


bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
BILLY has ten Tony Awards that might dispute that claim, including most of the major categories. MATILDA won 4, one supporting actor, one for book, and then 2 for its design team.

Really? Number of Tonys does NOT always equate with it being the best show for everyone.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Star
joined:2/10/13
^And Matilda would have hands down won a couple more, including Best Musical if it wasn't for KB
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
In 1991, "The Will Rogers Follies" won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical and bombed on the road. "The Secret Garden" won 3 Tony Awards and broke box office records in almost every city it played on the road.
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Star
joined:2/10/13
So, here we go: The tour might come in 2015 as the latest.


Source
Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
Updated On: 10/31/13 at 10:09 AM
Wishing Only Wounds
Broadway Star
joined:4/27/10
2015? Sheesh.

Unless it runs that long, that seems unlikely...unless it's an extremely scaled down version.
Formerly: WishingOnlyWounds2 - Broadway Legend - Joined: 9/25/08
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07