Not Broadway Grosses

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Phantom of London
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Not Broadway Grosses#1
Posted: 9/1/19 at 1:44pm

As I have heard several times in the past, Broadway is where the money is made and lost.

However we get Broadway Grosses each week which is brilliant, but how much money does a show make on the road?

Generally theatres on tour can be much bigger than Broadway houses, sometimes double or treble the size. The Equity contract may be different and lot less pay than Broadway? On the down side you have to move the show every week or two or if you are a massive show like Hamilton a month or two. All this costs money in moving sets and big tours can have two sets, then on top of this you have travel costs and lodging for all actors and stage staff to pay for and then advertising in every city.

I have heard also that shows that have lost money on Broadway have recouped on the road?

 

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Not Broadway Grosses#2
Posted: 9/1/19 at 1:54pm
But random, but when I saw Come From Away in Chicago the other week, it was it’s final performance and I remember seeing a huge line of Clark Transfer trucks extending all the way from the theatre to all the way past the south loop on Roosevelt road. Just thinking about the cost of hiring those truck drivers must make a huge dent every week in the budget.
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Not Broadway Grosses#3
Posted: 9/1/19 at 2:07pm

Phantom of London said: "As I have heard several times in the past, Broadway is where the money is made and lost.

However we get Broadway Grosses each week which is brilliant, but how much money does a show make on the road?

Generally theatres on tour can be much bigger than Broadway houses, sometimes double or treble the size.The Equity contract may be different and lot less pay than Broadway? On the down side you have to move the show every week or two or if you are a massive show like Hamilton a month or two. All this costs money in moving sets andbig tours can have two sets, then on top of this you have travel costs and lodging for all actors and stage staff to pay for and then advertising in every city.

I have heard also that shows that have lost money on Broadway have recouped on the road?


"

Road grosses aren't published publicly, but they are sent out to the industry. Not sure what you mean by big tours having two sets - if there are multiple companies of a show (like Hamilton) each will have their own set. But most shows have a single set that travels with the show. The Equity contract on the road pays about $700 a week less, but when you add in housing and per diem it often costs the production more than what is paid on Broadway. In order for investors to really benefit from a tour, they need to re-invest in that tour. Only a small royalty from the tour goes back to the Broadway production.

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HogansHero
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Not Broadway Grosses#4
Posted: 9/1/19 at 2:19pm

Here we go again with the generalizations that mislead. Frankly, I am tired of correcting everything all the time. So I will just warn folks not to believe everything they read. 

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Not Broadway Grosses#5
Posted: 9/1/19 at 2:38pm
I remember they publicly posted some of the n2n tour revenue and yes as you would expect selling well in much larger theatres did yield grosses that were much higher than ever seen at the Booth. Sometimes over a million USD back in 2011. Of course, no idea what the costs were compared to Broadway (probably higher). I get a sense that can be a lot of money to be made in touring, though.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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Not Broadway Grosses#6
Posted: 9/1/19 at 2:58pm

HogansHero said: "So I will just warn folks not to believe everything they read."

Would that include your posts/corrections? Just wondering.

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Not Broadway Grosses#7
Posted: 9/1/19 at 3:12pm

Many years ago, Variety used to publish the road grosses.

Updated On: 9/1/19 at 03:12 PM
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Not Broadway Grosses#8
Posted: 9/1/19 at 3:25pm

BroadwayRox3588 said: "HogansHero said: "So I will just warn folks not to believe everything they read."

Would that include your posts/corrections? Just wondering.
"

I don't know about you, but when Hogan posts anything to do with the finances of shows, etc. I tend to believe him. As far as I can tell, he knows considerably more about that stuff than anyone who posts here, and by a very wide margin. Having read many, many of his posts on this subject, I'd guess he is or was an attorney with very specific experience in the business. 

 

CZJ at opening night party for A Little Night Music, Dec 13, 2009.
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Not Broadway Grosses#9
Posted: 9/1/19 at 3:34pm

Which I appreciate, but what can be mildly annoying is that it feels like every second post of HogansHero is basically saying that everyone who posted before him is wrong, but then he often does not attempt to explain, challenge, correct or teach anyone - so then you kind of have to try and fill in the blanks. And I realise that it would be a lot of burden in terms of time to try and do this. But still, isn't it more interesting for everyone involved (including himself) if he actually does try and share knowledge? 

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
Updated On: 9/1/19 at 03:34 PM
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Not Broadway Grosses#10
Posted: 9/1/19 at 4:25pm
qolbinau said: "Which I appreciate, but what can be mildly annoying is that it feels like every second post of HogansHero is basically saying that everyone who posted before him is wrong, but then he often does not attemptto explain, challenge, correct or teach anyone - so then you kind of have to try and fill in the blanks. And I realise that it would be a lot of burden in terms of time to try and do this. But still, isn't it more interesting for everyone involved (including himself) if he actually does try and share knowledge?"



HogansHero constantly attempts to explain and share relevant information on grosses and other topics, far more often than I would given the nonsense of others present here as truth. I don't think we have any right to expect him to bang his head on the wall more than he already does.

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Not Broadway Grosses#11
Posted: 9/1/19 at 5:12pm

Looking back, you're right that he definitely does make an effort. So I am probably over-exaggerating the amount of times he posts in a manner similar to above (even if it does happen). 

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
Updated On: 9/1/19 at 05:12 PM
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Not Broadway Grosses#12
Posted: 9/1/19 at 9:12pm

RaisedOnMusicals said: "BroadwayRox3588 said: "HogansHero said: "So I will just warn folks not to believe everything they read."

Would that include your posts/corrections? Just wondering.
"

I don't know about you, but when Hogan posts anything to do with the finances of shows, etc. I tend to believe him. As far as I can tell, he knows considerablymore about that stuff than anyone who posts here, and by a very wide margin.Having read many, many of his posts on this subject, I'd guess he is or was an attorney with very specific experience in the business.


"

I'm guessing he's a current or former general manager or producer. Definitely the most knowledgable person on here in terms of the business side of the business.

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Not Broadway Grosses#13
Posted: 9/2/19 at 12:22am
I just remember hearing a stat that 85% of tours make money. That’s way better odds than Broadway.
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Not Broadway Grosses#14
Posted: 9/2/19 at 4:16pm

itsjustmejonhotmailcom said: "Phantom of London said: "As I have heard several times in the past, Broadway is where the money is made and lost.

However we get Broadway Grosses each week which is brilliant, but how much money does a show make on the road?

Generally theatres on tour can be much bigger than Broadway houses, sometimes double or treble the size.The Equity contract may be different and lot less pay than Broadway? On the down side you have to move the show every week or two or if you are a massive show like Hamilton a month or two. All this costs money in moving sets andbig tours can have two sets, then on top of this you have travel costs and lodging for all actors and stage staff to pay for and then advertising in every city.

I have heard also that shows that have lost money on Broadway have recouped on the road?


"

Road grosses aren't published publicly, but they are sent out to the industry. Not sure what you mean by big tours having two sets - if there are multiple companies of a show (like Hamilton) each will have their own set. But most shows have a single set that travels with the show. The Equity contract on the road pays about $700 a week less, but when you add in housing and per diem it often costs the production more than what is paid on Broadway. In order for investors to really benefit from a tour, they need to re-invest in that tour. Only a small royalty from the tour goes back to the Broadway production.
"

You sound very knowledgeable about this, which is great, so be awesome to find out what is true and learn a thing or two.

I would’ve thought the Broadway producers would invest in their own show on the road, especially as you have a bigger chance to turn a handsome profit.

I also thought big tours would employ leap stages, whilst one is being used, another one is being set up in another city. This would make sense to me as a tour finishes early Sunday evening has to break down, drive to the next city which can be hours away then set up, which would be getting all the set in, lighting and set up exactly, sound with the speakers and sound desk? A lot to do in 48 hours.

 

 

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Not Broadway Grosses#15
Posted: 9/2/19 at 4:57pm

You are not technically wrong that a show has 2 sets, but they are not full sets.

The very big shows with complicated Turntables or Automation will have 2 'Decks' or the base of the set where the turntable and automation is and the rest of the set is built upon.

This 'Deck' is installed by a shows 'advance' crew, usually the week/weekend/Monday before a show opens in a market. For example, Deck A would be installed in Denver while a show finished its run in Houston. The traveling show crew would load the traveling sets/lighting/sound/costumes/props out of Houston on Sunday night and into Denver on Monday night/Tuesday, on top of Deck A. Deck B (the one the traveling crew left behind in Houston) would be loaded out early in the week after the show closed and sent to the city the show would be playing after Denver and held to be loaded in there during the closing week/weekend in Denver.

This helps the big, technically complex shows open on Tuesday in a new market after closing on Sunday in the previous one without risk of delays due to technical complications (and time constraints which usually result in Union Overtime payments). Not many shows utilize this practice, I *think* only Hamilton, Lion King, Wicked and Aladdin currently would have the need to advance their decks.

Some mid-size productions will alter their set designs / direction for the road to avoid this, as the cost does add up (I'd guess the new Phantom and Les Miz tours eliminated their advance crews in the new tour productions, but I could be wrong...).

This would be cost prohibitive for shows like Come From Away or Waitress, but for productions like Hamilton or Wicked which can easily make $3M-$4M+ a week in a tour market, it's more than covered by the profit the show makes. 

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Not Broadway Grosses#16
Posted: 9/2/19 at 6:24pm

A few points from my knowledge base of the touring industry:

Wicked, Phantom, Lion King and Aladdin all travel with a advance package, comprising about a third of their show (4 or 5 trucks) that load in on Monday, the show-to-show package loads out Sunday night into Monday morning, and drives Monday afternoon/night, for load in on Tuesday and Wednesday, with each of these titles opening no earlier than Wednesday in a new market, sometimes Thursday if its a longer distance move and coming in for more than a 2 week engagement. 

Hamilton opens in a new market on Tuesday, as each company has two full physical packages, the jump set gets loaded in a few days prior, with mainly costumes, props, hair and management stuff traveling show-to-show. This is how the other shows mentioned used to tour, but all have been redesigned to work with a partial advance model, which makes it economically viable for these shows to now play markets for just two weeks.

Les Miserables, and perhaps a few other titles currently touring, use a small advance, just a truck or two, which loads in Monday AM before the rest of the trucks arrive Monday PM, to ensure that the larger one-week tours can open on Tuesday nights.

Of course, you need to remember the other end of the spectrum, and why you always need to remember that the techs on these tours work really hard to ensure you have a great experience in the theater. There are one-nighter tours that will play one market on Friday night, load out, drive, load in for a two-show Saturday (meaning the load-in is done by 12:30 to sound check and open the house for a 2pm curtain), and then load out Saturday night, drive, and load-in for a two show Sunday, and load-out to end the week.

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Not Broadway Grosses#17
Posted: 9/2/19 at 7:42pm

Thanks for all the additional details, Jakeevan942.. It really is incredible what a productions Traveling Crew is able to do (and generally very safely..) in just a few days, AND with a sometimes wide range of abilities in the local crew available.

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Not Broadway Grosses#18
Posted: 9/3/19 at 12:36am
I did a non-union tour years ago and we did a lot do one-nighters. I remember we finally got to a venue where we did 2 shows back to back and the crew was so grateful to spent the night in a hotel. It’s a lot of work. There would be times, because of traffic or whatever, we’d roll up to a venue 40mins to show time and have to perform after being on a bus all day.
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Not Broadway Grosses#19
Posted: 9/3/19 at 9:10am

Not to distract from tour grosses (honestly fascinating discussion), but the title has made me think is there a way to view off-Broadway grosses? This could probably be a thread of it's own but it fits the title. I'm super curious about well Little Shop will be doing once performances start this month.

Updated On: 9/3/19 at 09:10 AM
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Not Broadway Grosses#20
Posted: 9/3/19 at 9:10am
Updated On: 9/3/19 at 09:10 AM
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Not Broadway Grosses#21
Posted: 9/3/19 at 9:37am

no there is not. BTW the word is "grosses." I have never seen the gerund used in this way. (Has anyone else?)

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Not Broadway Grosses#22
Posted: 9/3/19 at 9:45am

HogansHero said: "BTW the word is "grosses." I have never seen the gerund used in this way. (Has anyone else?)"

Thanks for the correction, grossing is a thing, but I assumed it could be plural for some reason, my bad.

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Not Broadway Grosses#23
Posted: 9/3/19 at 11:02am

Grossing is definitely a thing. When I first saw you use the plural, it took me to horse racing where they say "takings" to mean essentially the same thing. 

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Not Broadway Grosses#24
Posted: 9/5/19 at 2:24pm

DoTheDood said: "Not to distract from tour grosses (honestly fascinating discussion), but the title has made me think is there a way to view off-Broadway grosses? This could probably be a thread of it's own but it fits the title. I'm super curious about well Little Shop will be doing once performances start this month."

Great point - what are the Off-Broadway grosses Like then?

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Not Broadway Grosses#25
Posted: 9/5/19 at 2:44pm

Clark Transfer was mentioned earlier in this thread. I think they deserve a  special Tony Award in recognition of their years of dedicated service to the entertainment industry. Their history is quite interesting.

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