Pin It

‘Evita’ Closes on Broadway Without Turning a Profit

Evita-posterEven though Evita — starring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger — was the top-selling show of the 2012 Broadway season, it closed on Saturday.  Why?  Looking at the show’s expenses tells a similar story to other large revival musical productions with big-name stars: there is a very small margin of profit.

The original 1979 Broadway production, which starred Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, ran for almost four years.  In contrast, this revival ran just under a year (46 weeks).  It would have taken at least 63 weeks for the production to break even, though it would have likely taken longer because of declining sales.  Sales were expected to decline even further when Martin opted not to renew his expiring one-year contract and a performer of similar drawing power could not be found.

Even though the show averaged about $1.03 million per week in ticket sales grosses, it still could not recoup investors $9.6 million investment.  That’s because the weekly expenses of the production were about $880,000.  Many of these expenses are attributed to the fact that since Evita was a revival, money was owed to the creators of the musical.   These expenses included significant payments to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, which received fees and royalties of about $70,000 a week in addition to an upfront payment of $100,000 (part of the royalty money went to lyricist Tim Rice).  Really Useful also received 15% of merchandise sales. 

Star salaries also were a significant chunk of the weekly costs.  While Martin’s base salary has not been disclosed, he received ten percent of the weekly box office whenever it topped $700,000.  That was in addition of the $170,000 per week that the five main cast members received, not counting perquisites.  As a result, the production needed to gross $1.18 million per week for a year to break even — and while it was close, it was not close enough, and likely wouldn’t be moving forward without Martin.

So Evita stands as another example of a Broadway revival that didn’t turn a profit despite casting a popular (and expensive) lead actor.  It’s curious that while sometimes “stunt casting” works for Broadway productions, other times it does not.  Producers will have to continue asking themselves if the investment will bear out.

via Bloomberg

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-ron-perlman-on-his-fathers.jpg
Watch: Ron Perlman on His Father’s Influence on His Early Career
Ron Perlman is a prolific actor, and he has also lent his distinctive voice to a number of projects in film and television — including the new animated film The Book of Life. One of the reasons that Perlman works so hard is not only because he loves being an actor, but because of what […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/cate-blanchett-asks-graduating-s.jpg
Cate Blanchett Asks Graduating Students a Heavy Question: “What the hell can you do with an arts degree?”
“What the hell can you do with an arts degree?” Many actors ask themselves that when they find themselves struggling to make it in Hollywood while saddled with student loans. It was Cate Blanchett who posed that question recently to graduating students at Macquarie University in Sydney where she received an honorary doctorate degree. The […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/matthew-mcconaughey-rallies-his.jpg
Matthew McConaughey Rallies his Alma Mater Football Team to Victory with the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Chant
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey delivered a different kind of speech two weeks ago when he spoke with the Texas Longhorns football team after their close 20-17 loss to UCLA. The moment was a bit odd, but hilarious at the same time. Coach Charlie Strong was the one who invited the Dallas Buyers Club star to inspire the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-reveals-her-awkw.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn Reveals Her Awkward ‘Breaking Bad’ Audition Details
Though Breaking Bad was obviously a career highpoint for every actor involved, they all must move on to their next projects (except for the few who are involved in the Breaking Bad spinoff, Better Call Saul). This includes Anna Gunn, who portrayed Walter White’s wife Skyler on the award-winning series series. Gunn’s new series, the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-conversations-with-maggie.jpg
Watch: Conversations with Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott of New CBS Series ‘Stalker’
Both Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott are TV veterans, with Q recently starring in Nikita and McDermott recently starring in both American Horror Story and Hostages. This season both star as the leads of Stalker, a drama series on CBS about LAPD detectives who specialize in crimes that have to do with stalking. In a […]