"Spiderman" Investors, Please Seek Professional Mental Help

November 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

When I first heard about Julie Taymor directing a musical version of “Spiderman” with music by Bono several years ago, I must say I was excited.  Anyone familiar with Julie Taymor’s stage work (eg. “The Lion King”) knows her to be an incredibly passionate and creative director.  Pair that with rock music by one of the world’s biggest names, and you have the potential for a life-changing experience.  But now that “Spiderman, Turn off the Dark” is attemtping to get produced, it is very clear to me that the people involved with this project have completely lost their minds. 

The cost of capitalizing an average sized play on Broadway is somewhere around $2 million, and the average musical can reach up to and often exceed $10 million.  “Wicked”, a recent mega-musical success story pushed the envelope and carried a price tag of $14 million to capitalize.  Due to overwhelming success, the show was able to recoup its investment in approximately 1 year, something most shows could never dream of with a $14 million price tag.  What is important to note is that it was and still is an overwhelming success.  Now, let’s take that one-in-a-million story and apply it to the absurdly priced “Spiderman, Turn off the Dark” musical siting with a price tag of $50 Million, by far the largest in Broadway history.  No, that wasn’t a mistake, the show is being capitalized at a price of $50 Million.  Reports also say that this musical will have weekly operating costs over $1 Million, which is unquestionably much higher than that of “Wicked” and should be considered completely ridiculous. 
Production has been halted serveral times so far, so who knows if this thing will ever even materialize.  I personally hope it does, so I can be there to watch it go down in flames.  I am not saying the musical will not be any good, or that the show will not sell well, but when you consider how long this musical would need to be an astounding success in order to pay off its capitalization costs, it is laughable.  I’m sorry, but investors in this show should seriously question their mental well being. 



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