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‘Spider-Man,’ Jackman Set Broadway Records Amid Tourist Influx

View of the curtain call of the 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark' original Broadway cast's final preview performance. The musical set a Broadway record last week, selling $2.9 million of tickets, albeit for nine performances instead of the usual eight. Photographer: Andy Kropa/Getty Images
View of the curtain call of the 'Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark' original Broadway cast's final preview performance. The musical set a Broadway record last week, selling $2.9 million of tickets, albeit for nine performances instead of the usual eight. Photographer: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” a theatrical punch line for its 182 previews and roughly $75 million production costs, sold $2.9 million of tickets last week, a Broadway record.

It was for nine performances instead of the usual eight. The previous record was set by “Wicked” a year ago, when that show grossed $2.2 million for eight performances.

“Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway” set a record for highest average ticket price -- $190.65 -- according to the Broadway League, a trade group. It closed on Sunday, the biggest hit to date of the 2011-12 season. The average price for “Spider-Man” was $169.31, trailing $178 for “The Book of Mormon,” the winner of the 2011 Tony award for best musical.

The three shows had nine performances, which is common for the year’s last week. Average ticket prices have risen to $93.56 so far this season, up from $86.21 for 2010-11.

“Lysistrata Jones,” with the lowest average admission for a musical last week, $61.22, said it’s closing on Sunday. It opened Dec. 14 and is loosely based on Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.” Here, women deny sex to men to motivate them in college basketball, not to wage peace.

The last week of the year is usually Broadway’s best, as tourists visit on holiday and producers raise prices. The highly visual, stunt-heavy “Spider-Man” is housed in Broadway’s largest theater, the Foxwoods, with 1,930 seats. The lead producers, Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris, are being sued by director Julie Taymor, who said she wasn’t paid for her work.

To contact the writer of this column: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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