How’s Love, Love, Love doing at the box office? #richardarmitage

Screen shot 2016-09-05 at 1.42.21 PMI’ve already bought all the tickets to this play I plan to buy. (Mr. Armitage, did you think we’d forgotten?) But I was curious as to how the tickets are selling, so I decided to take a random snapshot of how sales are going at this point. Keep in mind that I have no idea of how many seats the Roundabout Theater Company normally expects to have sold at this point, and also that the number of seats I can see as available probably does not reflect seats actually already sold, although it may be close. Theaters like these in NYC typically reserve some small proportion of seats from open general sale for various reasons, including seats that may be allotted to actors as part of their contract or held for VIPs or high-priced last minute sales.

Roundabout has one show already in previews (Holiday Inn — to me, the weather still seems a bit warm for that at the moment, honestly) in the much larger Studio 54 venue, with roughly 1,000 seats. Glancing at their ticketing webpage, seats for the show for the first week look roughly half occupied on weekdays and and up to two-thirds occupied on weekends.

Screen shot 2016-09-05 at 1.45.03 PMA second show, The Cherry Orchard, starring Diane Lane as Lyubov, will begin previews on September 15 in Roundabout’s 740-seat American Airlines venue. Looking at that show’s ticketing webpage, between 150 and 300 seats are still showing as available for the first week’s performances, which would reflect sales of 60 to 80 percent of seats.

Screen shot 2016-09-05 at 1.44.55 PMAn impressionistic look at Love, Love, Love, since I didn’t feel like calculating every single day of it: This much-smaller venue has 424 seats. Up to sixteen seats per performance are visible but not available to the average viewer (either premium seats available only with a donation of $2500, or held for theatergoers in wheelchairs or who need other assistance), but calculating using 424 as n, the seats for the first week are between two-thirds and four-fifths occupied. There is one performance that’s 86 percent sold, but it’s a Wednesday matinee, so I’m wondering if there aren’t a lot of school children in that audience. The performance closest to apparent sell-out at this point, with only 36 seats available, is the evening of Wednesday, October 6, probably because those tickets were discounted to under-35s. The performance I saw with the least seats taken is Monday, November 21, with 260 seats left — one assumes because this is the substitute performance for the Thanksgiving Day holiday later that week, and potentially many fewer subscribers want a Monday show. Flipping around the page, however, suggests that most performances have sold at least two-thirds of their seats. Watching sales from the beginning, it looks like roughly a third of those went to subscribers and another third to new purchasers, but that is almost entirely a guess. Most of the seats that have always been blocked off from purchase are in the center front of the orchestra and the first row of the mezzanine.

For comparison purposes — the Old Vic Theatre has roughly 1,000 seats. It’s impossible to make a direct comparison to their ticket sales for a number of reasons — bigger potential audience, different kind of play, more complex pricing structure including protected seat allotments with discount prices for under-21s and people who live in the neighborhood, and extremely cheap nose-bleed seats. For The Crucible in 2014, the first preview did sell out shortly before the curtain rose (well, there wasn’t any curtain, but you know what I mean), but most shows initially did not, although after the first month the evening shows started to come close. For much of the run, the play remained a potential last-minute decision as opposed to appointment theater. My recollection is that shows did not begin selling out completely in advance until about the last five weeks of the production. Even then, for theatergoers who were available to stand in line, it wasn’t impossible to get a return.

~ by Servetus on September 5, 2016.

11 Responses to “How’s Love, Love, Love doing at the box office? #richardarmitage”

  1. I think the sales are promising. There are different types of consumers – so some would research a play relatively unknown to them and discover its success elsewhere, then want to try it – and others will only get interested if it becomes a hot ticket after reviews. Also, at some point, more tickets will become available through discounting clubs – and some of the better seats will be released ( some people just won’t go if they can’t have the best seats) so I think 4/5 is very good at this point.

    Or, the good numbers could be Richard Armitage fans like you who are going more than once. Some statistic could show, percentage-wise how the sales are doing compared to other shows, for multiple performance ticket sales/per customer – although why they would want to capture that is beyond me. I think, anecdotally, the box office became aware that those early ticket sales ( to our fandom) had a high percentage of multiple performance sales.


    • I think you’re right, assuming we can conclude that the theater feels relatively certain of sales of seats it hasn’t released (which isn’t unreasonable, since why not release them if they are not certain they have a better market for them elsewhere). Interestingly, I’ve seen links to ticket sales websites that have offered high prices than the theater for tickets to this show, which must mean that demand is anticipated to go up.

      Presumably they can tell how many tickets any one customer buys to any show but I agree, you’d kind of wonder why they’d bother to collect that statistic under normal circumstances. I’m absolutely sure the box office was aware 🙂


      • The original actor bio published by RTC, which looked like an early Playbill entry, mentioned his fandom ( forgot what adjective they used – great, strong, loyal, large). I thought it was odd -anyway, it made me uncomfortable – but, suppose they’re interested in seeing whether they have a repeat winner on account of it, or partly to do it – as Audible has. It could bode well for future engagements, as RTC has used the same creatives repeatedly. But I seriously doubt that stat is high on their list to capture. Unless someone there likes to over-analyze.


        • I think they can probably answer the same question by measuring advance sales for a play of similar interest level in comparison to this one. I think this play in itself is potentially of high interest only to a fairly dedicated theater crowd, so it would be reasonable to attribute at least some of any additional sales to the fandom factor. Of course, results of such a comparison would not be monocausal, and they will know better what the reasons are that people buy a ticket to any given play than I would.


        • ps. Watch out for overanalysis 🙂


    • although (continuing that thought through) the box office may find that behavior less remarkable than we might. I definitely have a “why am I doing this?” moment, but they are probably accustomed to repeat customers.


  2. I just hope that there is not suddenly a surge in sales. I probably won’t be buying tickets until a week or so before the dates I end up going.


    • If I were you, I’d target possible dates and watch the webpage. At this point, I’d possibly suggest not buying tix because most of the really great seats are either sold or blocked off. So there may be better seats being released closer to the date than you could get now. (There also may not — hard to say). But barring other information, the most likely point at which there may be a big surge is after the reviews — press night is October 19, but that’s a third of the way into the total run. So if reviews are ecstatic, seats might become scarce after that.


  3. Wish I could buy a ticket to help further the sales more! But alas, doesn’t look like it at this point…


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