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Biggest Musical Theatre Flops Ever ?!


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#21 Jamiem

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:17 PM

View PostMatthew Winn, on 29 September 2012 - 08:22 PM, said:

Many, many shows have flopped, and simply listing shows that have been financial losses makes for an uninteresting thread. I'd say that to qualify as one of the biggest flops ever the show would need to be an unmitigated disaster: either something that was universally reviled and disappeared almost instantly, or something that was heralded with grandiose forecasts of a soaraway success but collapsed into ignominious failure.
"an uninteresting thread"  not to us, in America courtesy of 'variety' this information is published and people relish it and learn from it

#22 Mark_E

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 11:13 PM

Sorry but I'm finding it hard to believe the minimal cost Avenue Q didn't recoup after almost 5 years in London

#23 Matthew Winn

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:06 AM

View PostJamiem, on 29 September 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

"an uninteresting thread"  not to us, in America courtesy of 'variety' this information is published and people relish it and learn from it

So you think a thread title of "Biggest Musical Theatre Flops Ever" should be interpreted as "Let's list every show that ended up losing 0.01 or more"?

For example, I can't see how anyone could claim that Avenue Q was one of the biggest flops ever. I don't know whether it eventually failed to recoup - if it did then its break-even point must have been at least 80% because once they'd cut their prices it was sometimes difficult to get tickets. But it was a critical success, it ran for several years so it must have been covering its running costs for almost all of that time, and it proved popular enough with the public that it was worth someone else taking it out on tour when the West End production closed. None of those things say "biggest flop" to me.

To illustrate "biggest flops" I'd offer...

Behind the Iron Mask
People flocked to see it in their tens. They flocked to escape in numbers nearly as great. "Unwatchable shit" would have made a comparatively positive review. Nobody had anything good to say about it, with the possible exception of "We're finally out of the theatre. Good." It was astonishing that it ever made it to the stage, and the most baffling thing about it is that at no point prior to the opening night did anyone take the creator of the show to one side and say "Are you insane? Have you actually watched this rubbish?"

The Lord of the Rings
Hugely expensive and heralded with claims along the lines of "All you other shows might as well pack up now because the theatre revolution is coming", it failed to capture most of the audience and only occasionally pulled in enough people to cover its daily running cost. A cheaper, less ambitious production might well have survived because there was nothing fundamentally wrong with it apart from its failure to tell its story, but the production team appeared to think that the more money they threw at it and the more over the top the spectacle became the more certain they were to achieve success. It turns out you can't buy popularity that way.

That's what I think is meant by "biggest flop".
I have always hated eggs. I remember back when I was a sperm I tried to head-butt one. It did not end well.

#24 Jamiem

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:36 AM

View PostMatthew Winn, on 30 September 2012 - 06:06 AM, said:



So you think a thread title of "Biggest Musical Theatre Flops Ever" should be interpreted as "Let's list every show that ended up losing £0.01 or more"?

For example, I can't see how anyone could claim that Avenue Q was one of the biggest flops ever. I don't know whether it eventually failed to recoup - if it did then its break-even point must have been at least 80% because once they'd cut their prices it was sometimes difficult to get tickets. But it was a critical success, it ran for several years so it must have been covering its running costs for almost all of that time, and it proved popular enough with the public that it was worth someone else taking it out on tour when the West End production closed. None of those things say "biggest flop" to me.

To illustrate "biggest flops" I'd offer...

Behind the Iron Mask
People flocked to see it in their tens. They flocked to escape in numbers nearly as great. "Unwatchable shit" would have made a comparatively positive review. Nobody had anything good to say about it, with the possible exception of "We're finally out of the theatre. Good." It was astonishing that it ever made it to the stage, and the most baffling thing about it is that at no point prior to the opening night did anyone take the creator of the show to one side and say "Are you insane? Have you actually watched this rubbish?"

The Lord of the Rings
Hugely expensive and heralded with claims along the lines of "All you other shows might as well pack up now because the theatre revolution is coming", it failed to capture most of the audience and only occasionally pulled in enough people to cover its daily running cost. A cheaper, less ambitious production might well have survived because there was nothing fundamentally wrong with it apart from its failure to tell its story, but the production team appeared to think that the more money they threw at it and the more over the top the spectacle became the more certain they were to achieve success. It turns out you can't buy popularity that way.

That's what I think is meant by "biggest flop".
That's your opinion

#25 armadillo

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:48 AM

I agree that it's tedious to just list shows that didn't return their investment (especially as that doesn't take account of the Producers-style tax dodges involved). So have a quiz on flops -

http://news.bbc.co.u...ine/8677777.stm

There was also a BBC radio series about flops a few years ago which certainly didn't mention stuff like Follies or Avenue Q.

#26 Jamiem

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:03 AM

There aren't producers-style tax dodges in this country

#27 Honoured Guest

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:14 AM

Perhaps, after the listing here of every "flop" ever, we could offer our opinions of the "biggest ever", stating the criteria employed. For example, some may be of the opinion that greater financial loss equates to a "bigger flop".

#28 Jamiem

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:29 AM

Good idea
Two of the American guidelines are good; the aforementioned if it don't recoup it's a flop and
If it runs less than five performances after opening night it gets to have its framed poster on the wall of Joe Allens restaurant in New York!

#29 Jamiem

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:34 AM

View PostJamiem, on 30 September 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

Good idea
Two of the American guidelines are good; the aforementioned if it don't recoup it's a flop and
If it runs less than five performances after opening night it gets to have its framed poster on the wall of Joe Allens restaurant in New York!
Every poster on the wall of Joe Allens in NY and there's some truly great flops with big stars are featured, and it makes for interesting browsing and the story goes that one producer closed his show after the fourth performance in order to 'make the wall' and at least have his show remembered in one way!

#30 jamescrispy94

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway




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