Insider: Spider-Man on Broadway Opening 'Likely to Be Pushed' Back Again

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Spider-Man stands on the Brooklyn Bridge while the Green Goblin enters in a scene from the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" during a rehearsal in New York, on Nov. 20, 2010. The play, with music composed by Bono and the Edge from U2, is the most expensive to ever be produced on Broadway.

The new issue of The Hollywood Reporter details the $65 million production's major problems - and why it continues to sell at 98.2% capacity despite it all.

Despite technical glitches and actor injuries (villainess Natalie Mendoza received a concussion after being struck in the head by equipment backstage, and still has yet to return; a flying performer broke both his wrists while rehearsing), news about the daring stunts has only fueled interest in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

During its first week of previews, the show grossed $919,457 from five performances at the theater. That’s 98.2% capacity at an average ticket price of $97.11. Three previews were cancelled; had the show played a full eight performances, it could have made nearly $1.5 million. (The show is the most expensive in Broadway history at $65 million.)

David Garfinkle, an original producer on the project, says all of Spider-Man’s troubles will be forgotten when it opens, finally, in the new year (a planned Jan. 11 date will likely be pushed again). “When you see the flying where Spider-Man is riding Goblin’s back over the audience and fighting with him in midair, it’s thrilling,” he says. “You’ve never seen anything like it.”

Spider-Man will open at a difficult time on Broadway, with more than 15 shows having closed around New Year’s. Three recent musicals — Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Scottsboro Boys and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown — have failed and will be gone by the end of January.

Spider-Man likely will do better than that, though, given its cost, it could succeed and still fail. Veteran producer Manny Azenberg hopes Spider-Man succeeds because Broadway needs a smash on the order of Wicked and Lion King. None has emerged since Jersey Boys opened in 2005.

“The mega-musical propels the industry, both in New York and on the road,” Azenberg says. “We need one.”

Jeff Lunden contributed to this report. Subscribers can read the whole story here.