From casting to set design, producing a Broadway show is no small feat.
Theater productions require a huge amount of hard work, time, and yes, money. Broadway shows tend to be even larger than usual.
Some of them have budgets that reach tens of millions of dollars. With that in mind, here are some of the most expensive Broadway productions ever produced.
Shrek The Musical
Reports said that Shrek The Musical had a budget of $24 million. The musical, based on William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Dreamworks Animation film, opened at the Broadway Theatre on December 14, 2008.
That same year, the production broke box office records while grossing $1,052,975 in its first week of preview performances, ahead of its official opening.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Moulin Rouge! opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in 2019 and had an initial budget of $28 million. The musical is based on the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
First staged in Boston, Moulin Rouge! set a house record when it first moved to Broadway, grossing $1,987,914 in its first full week.
The King Kong Broadway show featured a 20-foot puppet that definitely didn’t come cheap. Based on the original movie, the stage version reportedly cost $35 million to produce.
While the combination of puppetry and animatronics was impressive, the play unfortunately didn’t do too well in the box office. It ran for less than a year and officially closed in August 2019.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Bringing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from London to New York cost about $68.5 million. But with the play already belonging to a well-known franchise, fans filled up the Lyric which is one of Broadway’s largest theaters.
During its first week in April 2018, the play earned $2.1 million. Its West End counterpart received nine Olivier awards the year prior. Meanwhile, the Broadway production won Best Play and five other awards at the 72nd Tony Awards.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
According to the Guinness World Records, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is the most expensive production in the history of theater, not just Broadway. In June 2011, the musical’s record cost reached $75 million.
Based on the fan-favorite comic book character, the show featured music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and the Edge. While it didn’t receive glowing reviews, it once earned $2.9 million in a week. However, when it eventually closed in 2014, it had made a loss of $60 million (another Broadway record).
Banner image via Instagram @moulinrougebway.