No but seriously.
This all goes hand-in-hand with the whole “NO ONE CARES ABOUT BROADWAY ANYMORE~~~ /SADFACE” BS spewed by Broadway industry/NYC tourism board people.
Like, they’ve got this narrative in their head that people just suddenly lost all interest in theater one day and are trying to paint themselves as the victims of an uncaring public completely oblivious to the fact that attendance went down around the same time that ticket prices started inflating into the hundreds for seemingly no other reason than “they felt like it.”
Back in the ‘90s you could get orchestra seating tickets for a popular new Tony Award winning show for somewhere between $80-$100.
Now? Theaters are charging the same amount for seats in the nosebleed section with an obstructed view. It’s ridiculous. Orchestra seat tickets these days are going for as high as $500. That’s a 400% increase over the course of twenty fucking years.
Imagine spending ~$1000 on a night out with your partner and that doesn’t even cover the cost of dinner.
Outside of lotteries – which not every theater does, aren’t highly advertised, are not easily accessible to people who work/are visiting – it’s literally impossible to buy a pair of tickets without ending up spending somewhere between $200-$400 unless you’re seeing a show that’s been running for over ten years.
People can’t afford to go to Broadway anymore.
Or if they do, they have to save up or wait for a sudden influx of money and then choose one show that they really want to see that year and hope anything else will still be open by the time they get the money to see that.
You cannot continue to price more and more people out of Broadway theaters and then 1) complain that no one’s coming anymore so they must not care, and 2) complain that people are finding other ways to try to experience these unnecessarily exclusive shows.
The film industry was partially founded on the idea of making theater more accessible to people who couldn’t patronize Broadway. When did the theater industry decide that film was its enemy?
No wait, I’m not done.
People want to see the shows.
That’s why bootlegs exist! Not because people are selfish, but because they can’t afford the only means of actually seeing them.
You really think that people who pay for bootlegs wouldn’t happily pay for a legitimate professional recording?
Why do you think Andrew Lloyd Webber is slowly working his way through his entire catalogue and putting out DVD’s? Of even the FAILED projects! And people are watching them! They’re watching them so enthusiastically that he’s in the process of reviving at least one of those epic failures!
For fuck’s sake even the Metropolitan Opera has a partnership with one movie theater chain to livestream their productions because they understand this very basic concept that people will pay to experience something they really want to but not if they can’t afford it.
Also, What does it say that every time a musical is filmed and released, it always has big named stars attached to it, it’s always labeled with ‘movie of the year’ and always tops the box office for the weekend it’s released?
The fact that Phantom of the Opera with gerard butler earned back more than twice it’s budget despite heavy criticism. Hairspray from 2007 earned almost 3 times. Mama Mia earned back 12 times its budget.
Because i can afford ten dollars to see a movie, i might even be inclined to see a movie twice or three times in theatres, and still buy it on DVD for 25$ when it comes out. which, all in all is less than 60$.
Clearly the point ins’t that musicals aren’t popular, despite what pop culture would like to tell you about theatre kids. Musicals are always popular, and movie musicals almost always do well financially, and id bet money its because it’s a lot easier to take a chance on seeing a new movie for less than the cost of a dinner than to see a broadway show for the cost of a mortgage payment.
I can think of three live shows filmed, off the top of my head (Rent, Shrek and Cats) and they’re all very well done, (i mean, cats as a show is kind of generic) I own a copy of all three, and to be honest I’d rather have copies of these shows as filmed on stage then the ones i have that are actual movies. Stage performance is an entirely different medium than film performance and you can’t really encourage people to embrace a new art form if youc ant expose them to it.