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There were indications that the Batman Live arena show was experiencing troubles at the box office at some locations late last year, as San Antonio and Tulsa runs were cancelled entirely, and expected 2013 dates didn’t emerge after a Dallas stop in December.
But as East Coast US Batman fans have been begging for stops in their area on facebook, the Albuquerque Journal pulls back the curtain on how things went in that city:
Batman Live’s eight-performance run at the Rio Rancho venue Oct. 17 through 21, on its maiden U.S. tour, lost $220,000, forcing Star Center management to ask the city, which owns the venue, for more financial help on top of the $3.5 million in the annual budget to cover debt and operating costs.
Officials ventured that the ticket price, ranging from $19.50 to $89.50 before handling fees, played a role in the attendance figures. But the show’s high-tech visual displays, elaborate costumes, acrobatics and props, including a life-size replica of the Batmobile, made it a costly production, Killion said.
Too bad. Between this and Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, it hasn’t been a good couple years for live super-hero shows, it seems… though I’d like to have seen them both.
This is a shame. I was lucky enough to see Batman Live during its UK run and it was a great show. It needed a polish in places but that’s what the UK tour was for, to iron out any wrinkles. To hear that it now can’t attract enough visitors is a damn shame.
Perhaps the show did so well initially because of the hype surrounding the movies? Now there are no films, the stage show suffers? Maybe it would do better if it had a fixed location instead of touring? In a totally unlikely scenario, Universal could acquire it and put it in one of its Sound Stages. Guaranteed visitors then.
If you’re in the US and the Batman Live tour is coming to you, make sure you check it out. It was so much fun.