‘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

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-falling-skies-intervie.jpg
WonderCon: ‘Falling Skies’ Interview with Moon Bloodgood & Seychelle Gabriel
Moon Bloodgood and Seychelle Gabriel were at WonderCon to talk about the upcoming season of TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’. The show is the story of life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. Noah Wyle stars as Tom Mason, a college professor who became an unlikely resistance leader. Bloodgood is Dr. Ann Glass, [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-dawn-of-the-planet-of.jpg
WonderCon: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Press Conference with Gary Oldman & Andy Serkis
Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis and Director Matt Reeves were at WonderCon to talk about the upcoming, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I loved the first one and can’t wait for this to come out. Serkis is terrific in everything and to watch him go to e-to-toe with Oldman will be a [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-how-to-train-your-drag.jpg
WonderCon: ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ Press Conference with Jay Baruchel
Jay Baruchel and writer/director Dean DeBlois were at WonderCon to chat about the upcoming sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2. In the press conference, they talk about the film, how Baruchel feels like he’s taken ownership of his character and a bit about his acting career. The film is in theaters June 13th.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/wondercon-sean-bean-tina-majorin.jpg
WonderCon: Sean Bean, Tina Majorino, Ali Larter & Morris Chestnut Talk ‘Legends’
The cast and executive producer of TNT’s new show, Legends held a press conference at WonderCon to talk about the show, their characters and more. Legends is based on the book by spy novelist Robert Littellon and stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings) as Martin Odum, an undercover agent working [...]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/john-turturro-narrates-a-scene-f.jpg
John Turturro Narrates a Scene from His New FIlm, ‘Fading Gigolo’
John Turturro narrates a sequence from his film, Fading Gigolo. The film, which written and directed by Turturro and stars Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and Sophia Vergara, is about how Turturro’s character falls into the becoming a gigolo, thanks to his “pimp”, played by Allen.