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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office

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Phantom of London
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#1
Posted: 9/17/19 at 6:40pm

Wow haven’t Harry Potter grosses dropped considerably? I hear on here you can bag an orchestra seat for $40 bucks, okay the show still sells out, but it is the average ticket price which keeps a Broadway show alive.

One of the most expensive shows to put on and I believe it capitalised at $37m, which included a massive multi million dollar pay off to the Cirque du Soleil, which I would suggest was a show that was about to close anyway?

Harry Potter is an massive brand and only playing 4 shows a week, should have ensured it longevity. This could now close anytime soon? The same could now be said for Frozen? Both shows likely now to close at a loss?

Has Harry Potter made it on TKT’s as yet?

willep
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#2
Posted: 9/17/19 at 7:25pm

It’s still making over 100% of its gross potential...

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VotePeron
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#3
Posted: 9/17/19 at 7:40pm
I definitely expected the show to be making more than it is, but for a show that’s 2 parts to be making 106% of the gross potential, its successful for what it’s doing. I’m also assuming that the Warner Bros partnership pumps some more money into the show, and this time next year, there will be six concurrently running companies.

I think a big problem is the general public just assumes it’s impossible to get a ticket, like Hamilton, so they don’t try. They’ve never had less than 100% capacity, but often have hundreds of seats available the week of. It’s a bitch to market being 2 shows, and I’m wondering if one day they’ll ever switch to a one price package.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the actors aren’t getting paid much above scale, especially since most of them get the union bonuses for pushing scenery, understudying, etc.
SouthernCakes
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#4
Posted: 9/17/19 at 8:17pm
I agree! I really only want to see Part 1 (I saw the show thing in London.) but would like to see the theater space here. But don’t really want to do a marathon day.
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uncageg
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#5
Posted: 9/17/19 at 9:14pm

I am planning to see it a second time and do a marathon day again.

Just give the world Love.
mpkie
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#6
Posted: 9/17/19 at 11:38pm

We've just hit the off peak season so not surprising regarding last minute ticket availability. Very happy the show makes last minute tickets affordable; now is a great time to grab them. Show still sells out daily, so I do hope it continues a healthy run.

I just marathon'ed it again. Most people I talk to seem very interested in seeing the show but the time commitment always surprises them. It is definitely a barrier for some people, but I am convinced marathon is the best way to see it.

Not sure if I would split and only see one part if given the chance. I thought I only wanted to rewatch Part 1 again because I liked it better the first time. But this time I liked Part 2 more. The mind and heart are fickle. Go figure!

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ColorTheHours048
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#7
Posted: 9/18/19 at 7:25am
I grabbed a front row center Grand Circle seat for a marathon day last week for $40/part the day before the show. And there were a few scattered elsewhere.

Yes, cheap tickets are available last minute, but they’re not discounted, they’re just built into the weekly pricing. So it may not be selling out in advance like it used to, but it still has no problem getting people into those seats.

Also, the new cast is very much a mixed bag. I still strongly dislike the play itself (especially part 2... snooze), but what a stellar production.
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FANtomFollies
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#8
Posted: 9/18/19 at 8:22am

ColorTheHours048 said: "Also, the new cast is very much a mixed bag."

Could you go into a bit more detail on this? I never saw the original cast and am on the fence on seeing the show at all. One of my biggest pet peeves in theater is underwhelming replacement casts.

 

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ColorTheHours048
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#9
Posted: 9/18/19 at 8:28am
Some actors make bad text sound much better than it is, some don’t. There are a lot of characters and the ability to make this play work is not necessarily in some actors’ wheelhouses.
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VotePeron
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#10
Posted: 9/18/19 at 8:30am

ColorTheHours048 said: "Some actors make bad text sound much better than it is, some don’t. There are a lot of characters and the ability to make this play work is not necessarily in some actors’ wheelhouses."

Curious who you’re referring to - I’ve seen both casts multiple times, and feel the Year 2 cast fully measures up to Year 1, except for Bubba (but I know he has a lot of fans). 

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Mike Barrett
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#11
Posted: 9/18/19 at 8:34am

Whatever they do, just keep this one on stage. Please. It would not work on film I don't think unless you get the full original cast to return (obviously whoever is still actually around) but if they can't do that then there is no point. Hope the play has a long life. It'll be interesting to see how sales are in San Francisco and Broadway when theres two companies open here in the US. 

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Wick3
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#12
Posted: 9/18/19 at 8:43am

willep said: "It’s still making over 100% of its gross potential..."

Very true but as of late HP has decreased its gross potential.

During its first year, Harry Potter's gross potential was consistently $1,998,464. 

Then after the original cast left in March, the gross potential decreased to $1,676,876 and consistently stayed at that level until mid-July. Thereafter, the gross potential fluctuated but has now decreased to $1,083,869.

I'm not an accountant by profession but these data fascinate me. I used to look at gross potential % a lot in the past but have learned producers can decrease the gross potential so the gross potential % can still be over 90%. Let's say if the gross potential never changed from last year's gross potential of $1,998,464, then for this past week HP's gross potential % would have been 55%...... which is not really that good. 

All data found from the Broadway grosses https://www.broadwayworld.com/grosses/HARRY-POTTER-AND-THE-CURSED-CHILDPARTS-ONE-AND-TWO (on the graph the default is 12 weeks so make sure to select ALL to see how the gross potential has decreased through its run.)

Updated On: 9/18/19 at 08:43 AM
massofmen
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#13
Posted: 9/18/19 at 9:17am

i have a friend in wardrobe
she said they are getting worried about the longevity of the show seeing that its grosses are beginning to get close to operating costs. It probably will take a whole lot longer to recoup now (if ever) and that its very easy to get tickets where it used to be an impossible ticket to get. 
Show is getting close to just being able to pay its weekly bills and thats it. 

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Mike Barrett
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#14
Posted: 9/18/19 at 9:40am

Ya thats the issue with this show because the operating costs are egregious I'm sure. Hopefully they can have a new marketing campaign and really showcase the show a bit more, or make people aware that yes, there are plenty of tickets available. 

LxGstv
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#15
Posted: 9/18/19 at 10:12am

More marketing means more money being spent, and it won’t necessarily sell more tickets. They just had 2 big marketing moves. I’m sure the Times Square ad wasn’t cheap, and it was unnecessarily long, with a minute of the ad just being a countdown. They also released 934 free tickets, and if anyone went looking you could see a lot of available seats.

Reminds me of The Band’s Visit when they offered $75 orchestra and $45 mezzanine tickets for 3 months. We all know how that ended up.

I don’t think the “people assume it’s impossible to get tickets so they don’t bother looking” statement is accurate. If someone wants to see the show, they will look for tickets. It’s not complicated.

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bdn223
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#16
Posted: 9/18/19 at 11:12am

The show's capitalization is weird as the production itself has a cost of $35.5 Million to mount, but then there was another $33 Million to renovate the Lyric (10 Million) and pay off the capitalization of Cirque du Soleil's Paramour ($23 Million), to push it out of the theater. It was never clear whether Cursed Child's producers were responsible for the additional $33 Million or it was to be paid by the Ambassador Theater group. Even so assuming the weekly running costs are about $1 Million a week, the Cursed Child's Broadway production has a net profit of approximately $67.5 Million dollars. This would mean the show is within weeks of turning a profit. More likely the show added another few million two its capitalization with the redesign and new marketing, but even so the show should turn a profit by at latest Christmas.

I have a feeling we are overestimating the running costs though with 2nd cast likely being paid a lot less, in addition for the production not having to pay to house English based actors. Its running costs are more likely around $900K, which I still think might be over estimating considering it is a play so they aren't paying for an orchestra, and most of the running costs are going towards stage hands and technical costs, which can decrease over time due to technological improvements.

Overall though, it would be a scandal on par with Jekyll and Hyde, Ragtime, or even Rebecca if Cursed Child were to fail to recoup. Most of the blame for this could actually be easily pointed at the producers for being so picky in their choice of theater costing the production an additional $33 Million and strict time table for the production. If anything the production could of waited 3-6 months and saved $23 Million dollars just by waiting out Paramour. Paramour's box office was extremely inconsistent fluctuating an average of $166K week to week variances, which didn't bode well for the show long term. Winter seemed to hit the show hard with grosses falling bellow 700K for multiple weeks, and it seemed like a show that would be lost in the shuffle of awards season, and be forgotten about by the time the new season started. In other words instead of forcing the show to close in April, Paramour would of likely closed on its own by August/September. Add to that Cursed Child did not need to open in Spring 2018, and qualify/be an awards season darling. The production was able to sell  90% of  the tickets  to its first year of performances within days of going on sale over 6 months prior to the first performance so its awards had little to do with its initial box office boom. The show would have been just as successful  if it opened July/August. which were 90% sold out in just a few days. , which were 90% sold out in just a few days.

As said in a previous thread the the shows biggest sales problem is the delay between ticket block releases.. Remember tickets initially went on sale October 2017, for  tickets February 2018-February 2019, which were 90% sold out in just a few days. Then the second block of tickets weren't released until September of 2019, for tickets February 2019-June 2019. The most recent release of tickets was in May for tickets July 2019-March 2020. Many had bought tickets over between 6-18 months before seeing the production, giving the show the idea of being an event you had to plan to see. The issue is that as the space between release of ticket blocks and actual performance date has shrunk, the idea of that planning 6 months out hasn't. The show is a full day, or 2 day commitment, which means you have to plan for it, its not the type of show you would decided to see a week or two out. Add to that they show has waited way too long to between releasing new ticket blocks, causing demand for tickets to die down so there is not longer that initial rush for tickets like there was for the initial release. The show should of released the 2nd block of tickets the day after the Tony Awards were it won 6 awards like every other big winner at the Tonys has done. The producers are clearly treating the production more like a tourist attraction rather then a  piece of theater. The even when the production touted its Tony wins in its marketing, there were no tickets available for the general public to buy.The show has lost its SRO status, which is hard to regain once lost. The only production that have been able to do that is The Lion King. Many forget that the production was hit hard by the 2008 recession, to the point where the show was actually offering discounts for weeks that weren't part of large scale discounts like Kids Night on Broadway and Broadway 2for1 Week (I know this isn't surprising for most shows, but it was as if Hamilton had all of a sudden gone on discount at the time). Its grosses had fallen to an average of 80% potential and 90% capacity through its 15th Anniversary in 2012, where as if by Disney Magic the show was able to regain momentum and regain its SRO status, and has been playing to capacity since. Their re-brand is clearly an attempt to try recreate Disney's wall to wall marketing blitz for The Lion King's 15th Anniversary, and could help. Only time will tell though.

In the end though Cursed Child is on the brink of renouncement and will be considered a "hit" when all is said and done. 

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BroadwayNYC2
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#17
Posted: 9/18/19 at 11:23am
Pretty sure Cirque has a deal with theatre too with the intention of housing more shows, no?
JennH
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#18
Posted: 9/21/19 at 11:27am

I seriously doubt it's doing bad business, but I wonder if hype has died down faster than anticipated, because I've gotten more notices about ticket deals in the last couple months than I did the entirety of last year. 

massoffmen-That's indeed somewhat worrying. It would be indeed a scandal of some special kind if this failed to recoup. The capital itself is recoupable, but yeah that theater renovation didn't help matters. And that alone is why it bemuses me why people are still asking when it will tour. Believe me, Felicia, once you see it, you'll see immediately why it won't and legit can't. But I digress. Haven't other shows with similar totally costs done ok? It's HP after after all, only the second biggest brand next to Disney. But then again, there is proof that brand name isn't everything either.

Fosse76
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#19
Posted: 9/21/19 at 11:42am

BroadwayNYC2 said: "Pretty sure Cirque has a deal with theatre too with the intention of housing more shows, no?"

That ended when they bought them out to bring in Harry Potter.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#20
Posted: 9/21/19 at 12:05pm

I’m aware, just pointing out the relationship wasn’t going to end with Paramour’s closure. They had to buy them out of the deal. 

Updated On: 9/21/19 at 12:05 PM
SouthernCakes
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Box Office#21
Posted: 9/21/19 at 1:47pm
So when HP closes, they put the theater back to how it was?