After recoupment, all subsequent box office revenue (minus weekly running costs and other ongoing expenses) will funnel back to producers and investors as profit. The shift into the black comes after the musical began performances on Broadway some 19 months ago — which sounds like a long time but these days is actually par for the course for large-scale musicals with significant capitalization and running costs.
The transfer of the London hit snowballed into a major sales magnet soon after it opened in spring 2013, during a period of a couple months that yielded an unusually robust crop of crowd-pleasing musical titles. (Four of those titles — “Kinky Boots,” “Motown,” “Matilda” and “Pippin” are still on the boards, although “Pippin” will shutter at the end of the year, around the same time that “Motown” will go on an extended hiatus.) “Matilda” posted million-plus weeks for the rest of 2013, and although box office has become somewhat more erratic in recent weeks, the production continues to log strong numbers, especially during frames when family-oriented tourists are in town.
The tuner got a significant publicity boost from its status as a serious Tony Awards contender during the 2013 race. “Kinky Boots” ultimately nabbed the top award, but “Matilda” still walked away with four trophies and snagged a prime slot for its performance segment during the Tony telecast that year.
The London incarnation of “Matilda,” which originated at the Royal Shakespeare Company before moving to the West End, is still on the boards, and the tuner is on tap to open in Australia next summer. The North American tour launches in May.
Based on the novel by Roald Dahl, “Matilda” centers on a young girl who outwits her self-involved parents and a monstrous schoolteacher with her sharp mind. Matthew Warchus directs a stage adaptation with book by Dennis Kelly and music by Tim Minchin.
Last week, a Thanksgiving feast for almost every show on the boards, “Matilda” pulled in a robust $1.45 million.