"Spider-Man" musical gains box office traction

Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:00pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway's most expensive and much maligned show "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" became its best-selling production last week, beating out audience favorite "Wicked" -- by $58 dollars.

The ambitious, yet troubled, $65 million musical ran eight preview performances last week earning $1,588,514, according to audience figures released by The Broadway League, which represents stage producers and theater owners.

That box office tally beat long-running musical "Wicked," which last week grossed $1,588,456 or $58 less than the superhero show. "Spider-Man" officially opens on February 7, and is currently playing in previews.

Helping boost the "Spider-Man" box office is the fact that its theater has more seats than the one that stages "Wicked."

But the box office figure shows the Julie Taymor production is maintaining momentum with audiences after being plagued by mixed reviews, cost overruns, four delays in its opening date and multiple cast-member injuries.

In late December, the show was suspended for two performances while officials checked safety measures after one of its performers was injured.

While it "Spider-Man" appears to be on a comeback, "Wicked," still holds the box office record for the highest grossing show in a single week, $2.22 million in the most recent week Christmas and New Year's Eve.

(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)