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Hit or Flop?

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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
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Hit or Flop?#1
Posted: 4/12/11 at 3:47pm
If I asked you what a good or a bad show is, you would be able to answer me in a straight forward way, that it would be a show you either enjoyed or didn't, but if I asked you to define a hit or a flop this question becomes very ambiguous, so what makes a show a hit or a flop?
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Mark_E
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Hit or Flop?#2
Posted: 4/12/11 at 3:49pm
It is a hit if it returns it's initial investment. It is a flop if it loses money.
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GusS
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Hit or Flop?#2
Posted: 4/12/11 at 5:41pm
Technically yes, but... not everybody knows which shows recoup and which ones don't.
Say if a big production that it's expected to become a long runner closes after only a couple of years people probably will consider it a flop although it manages to make the initial investment (Witches of Eastwick...?) or if a broadway hit transfers to the west end and again runs for only a couple of seasons without loosing money then it might be seen like a flop as well (Rent...?)
I usually think that a show is a hit if it's completely sold out for a while after opening night and there's absolutely no way to get a ticket, and a flop when it closes before the original booking period.
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hotjohn
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Hit or Flop?#3
Posted: 4/12/11 at 7:03pm
I just bought a great book - "Broadway Musicals, the biggest hit & the biggest flop of the season 1959 - 2009" by Peter Filichia. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down once you've started it. In his opinion it isn't always the show that loses the most money that counts as the biggest flop of the season but sometimes it's the one that just doesn't live up to the expectations or hype that surrounds it.
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SoonerOrLater
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Hit or Flop?#4
Posted: 4/14/11 at 11:01am
HotJohn-I'd seen that book and wondered if it was any good, I shall invest on your recomendation!

I agree with that analysis also-often it's the expectation that defines it, we could also divide things into 'critical' and 'commerical' flops.
Maybe I'm on nobody's side http://phdconfessions.blogspot.com/
AnythingGoes2
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Hit or Flop?#5
Posted: 4/15/11 at 4:12am
For producers/investors a "hit" is when it returns original investment and the show starts to give you a profit. A "flop" is when the show doesn't return investment and you loose money (but you can right it off tax wise...doo doo doo..) Basically if a show cost 4million to produce and has weekly running fees of 200,000 it needs to take in a week its running fees plus more to claw back the investment, once that claw back has reach the original investment total, that then becomes profit for the producers and investors.

However - you can get "flop-hits" (!) - shows which flopped when originally produced but have become hits through royalties in revivals, tours, am-dram rights, merchandise. I remember reading an article about "Footloose" loosing lots on Broadway but through 10 years of tours, successful London shows and merchandise, returned its investment finally and started giving a profit.
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Hit or Flop?#6
Posted: 4/15/11 at 8:23pm
Isn't Sunset Boulevard a flop-hit? It was had a successful run but it cost so much to run, it ended up losing money.

Is Seussical a flop hit, it wasn't that successful on Broadway but it has become a popular choice for school productions.
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Phantom of London
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Hit or Flop?#7
Posted: 4/15/11 at 8:40pm
Sunset Boulevard was a HIT, people loved the show, the critics raved about, the show won Tonys.

The only problem was It made a huge loss.

So "flop-hit" is bang on the money.
AnythingGoes2
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Hit or Flop?#8
Posted: 4/18/11 at 7:11am
Sunset is a funny one.

It opened and won lots of awards partly due to the face that year was very quiet, not taking anything away from it. The Tony category for Best Musical that year was Sunset or Smokey Joes Cafe (!)

I love the show but it was extremely ill produced and run. The weekly running fees were almost impossible to get back even with a full paying house - RUG and ALW lost control of it and it didn't help that Patti and few other leading ladies sued ALW and the production.

It should have been a runaway hit as it sold very well - gaining at the time the highest advanced for a musical, but the show never turned a profit.
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songanddanceman2
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Hit or Flop?#9
Posted: 4/18/11 at 8:05am
I dont understand why this question is so hard for people to understand
Theatre is a business, if a show does not return its investment its a flop.....plain and simple, as much as we love them, how many Tonys they won etc, it needs to make its money back. Same as movies need to make there budget back, TV Shows need to be able to keep the demo high to get advertisers to pay for the costs of the shows etc, theatre is no different.

Sunset Blvd was a flop, it lost money ( a few times), yes its loved, yes it won awards but that means nothing....it was a flop
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
AnythingGoes2
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Hit or Flop?#10
Posted: 4/18/11 at 9:09am
It is that simple yes - but with Sunset and a few others I can think of is that the show didn't flop - the production did. If someone else was producing that show - i really think it would have turned a very healthy profit - but RUG p*ssed it up! So ultimately - it was a flop.
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songanddanceman2
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Hit or Flop?#11
Posted: 4/18/11 at 11:44am
It makes no differnce,the original production could not stay open long enough to recoup. Sunset Blvd was a flop.

Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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Phantom of London
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Hit or Flop?#12
Posted: 4/18/11 at 12:36pm
Overall those, with tours, other sit dowen productions and CD'S was it a flop?
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Hit or Flop?#13
Posted: 4/18/11 at 12:37pm
Many times its not the same production companies doing the tours etc, plus you cant say well Legally Blonde was a hit in London so it makes the Broadway one a hit. Its 2 different budgets for 2 different shows.
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna