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What a difference a movie makes

In recent years, film trailers have worked to spur legit B.O.

Hollywood may or may not love movie versions of stage musicals: At the box office, it’s currently a boffo “Chicago,” a profitable “Phantom” and a questionable “Rent.” For legit, however, there’s no split ticket. The current Broadway productions of those three tuners all benefited from their film doppelgangers.

As “Phantom” general manager Alan Wasser points out, “The film’s campaign was so concentrated — the shattered chandelier, the rose, the mask — it had a dramatic impact on the stage show.”

Not so “The Producers” movie. Unlike the other three tuners, its movie trailer did not spur Broadway B.O. And on its opening week in cineplexes, the film created no extra buzz at the St. James box office. For the week of Dec. 12-18, the stage musical grossed $833,744. It was actually doing better a year ago when it did $903,677 for the week of Dec. 13-19, 2004.

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