When highly anticipated movies fall flat at the box office, their failure seldom escapes notice. After all, moviegoers across the nation — and perhaps even around the world — see trailers for the same movies and have months to anticipate their premieres. With over 20,000 movie screens in the U.S., it’s a good bet that at least tens of thousands of people will buy tickets to any given movie during its opening weekend. When a movie bombs at the box office, it’s a very public failure, and anyone who missed out can always catch it later on DVD.
Broadway shows are different. The cast performs live, which means fewer show times and smaller audiences. Successful shows may go on a national tour, but failures will be confined to a few performances at a single theater. In fact, the biggest Broadway flops only make it through a handful of performances before being canceled — and that’s a shame. Some of the worst movies of all time have developed cult followings and ironic fans, and it isn’t hard to imagine a similar fate for “Carrie: The Musical” and other Broadway flops under different circumstances.
What does all this mean for you? If a new upcoming show catches your eye, don’t wait too long to buy tickets. You never know how long any given show will last on Broadway. Even if the show ends up being a spectacular failure, you’ll walk away with a good story and a unique experience. Plus, if movies like “Godzilla” and “The Room” have taught us anything, it’s possible for theatrical productions to be so bad they’re good — or at least extra amusing.