Harry Potter’s Broadway debut is poised to make $2 million a week as critics conjure rave opening night reviews. Here’s how to get tickets.
The world’s most famous boy wizard is making magic on Broadway.
“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” opened Sunday to rave reviews from critics – and it’s already conjured $1,541,957 at the box office for its six previews running up to opening night, Variety reports. If those numbers keep up, the two-part show is poised to make $2 million per week. That’s hot on the heels of the $2.6 million that “Hamilton” wrangles weekly.
A new batch of tickets is being released at 11 a.m. Monday, with the virtual waiting room open now. You will be placed in a randomized line at 11 a.m., and those tickets will start at $20 for shows running through May 12, 2019. You can also sign up for the Friday Forty lottery between midnight and 1 p.m. each Friday to win up to two $20 or $40 tickets through TodayTix.
And the Boy Who Lived is giving the Founding Father without a father a run for his money in other ways.
While “Hamilton” cost a reported $12.5 million to produce in the Richard Rodgers Theatre, “Cursed Child” has been crowned the most expensive non-musical Broadway play ever thanks to its $68 million price tag, including the $33 million needed to transform New York’s Lyric Theatre into familiar places from J.K. Rowling’s fantasy franchise, including Kings Cross Station and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.
The first run of tickets for the two-part play released last October sold out faster than you can conjure up a patronus. And despite the producers’ painstaking attempts to prevent scalping with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system – which only doled out access codes to buy tickets to randomly selected subscribers, who then grappled with server issues to score seats – tix soon sprung up on resale sites like StubHub for more than $5,000 apiece. Those prices have largely dropped as more tickets continue to be released, and fans have had more shots at seats.
But “Harry Potter” tickets are still hotter than “Hamilton” at the moment. The priciest Orchestra Center seats to be in the room where it happens this Saturday are topping out at $3,050 apiece on StubHub; the same night, tickets to sit Dress Circle Left at “Cursed Child” are commanding $5,600 each. But it should be noted that at “Hamilton’s” peak in summer 2016 – and toward the end of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s run playing the titular character – people were paying up to $10,000 a ticket. And that was for a show running just two hours and 45 minutes.
In comparison, “Cursed Child” is being shown in two parts spanning a total of six hours (with intermissions), which can be taken in on the same day as back-to-back matinee and primetime performances, or split across two consecutive nights. Original ticket prices at the 1,256-seat Lyric Theatre range between $20 and $199 – with premium seats even higher – averaging about $185 a seat. And customers are essentially paying double to see two Harry Potter performances.
“If you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound, because you have to see both,” Joe Dziemianowicz, the New York Daily News theater critic, told Moneyish.
And “Cursed Child” is drawing from Harry Potter’s already fervent fanbase. “Cursed Child” is a sequel to J,K. Rowling’s blockbuster boy wizard franchise that’s sold close to half a billion books and spawned eight films that made $7.7 billion. It takes place 19 years after the last book and movie, and follows the children of Harry, Ron and Hermione as they navigate Hogwarts. The critically-acclaimed London run of the show has won a record-breaking nine Laurence Olivier Awards awards, which has also spiked interest in the show around the world. Another “Cursed Child” production is even coming to Australia.
In comparison, few people outside the theater community knew what a potential hit “Hamilton” was while it was being workshopped in the Public Theatre. And kids weren’t as jazzed about a historical figure as they are about a boy wizard – and, now, his son.
“You can’t even compare how many people know Harry Potter to how many knew who Alexander Hamilton was. The fan base is massive, and J.K. Rowling brilliantly got kids and middle schoolers and high schoolers all hooked, and they’ve grown up and gotten their kids hooked,” said Dziemianowicz. “And parents will do anything to please their kids. They will move mountains of cash to see this.”
Michael Riedel, Broadway columnist for the New York Post, agreed. (The two publications share the same parent company.) “‘Hamilton’ is still probably the biggest-hyped Broadway show in recent memory, but ‘Harry Potter’ is one of the most successful franchises in the world,” he told Moneyish.
“And this is not a movie showing in 800 theaters across the U.S. seven times a day,” Riedel added. “It’s in one theater that seats a thousand people, and it happens once a day, and that’s it. And that drives the ticket prices sky high.”
Plus, the multi-step ticketing process made it harder for buyers to get seats. So desperate Muggles with deeper pockets will probably pay whatever they can to come back to Hogwarts – and the lucky ones with extra tickets will be ready to capitalize off of that.
“If you have the money to buy tickets from a scalper or reseller, and you don’t have to spend an hour trying to figure out how to buy tickets on the website, you’re going to do it,” said Riedel.
“And if you’re someone who actually got a code, and you bought six tickets, but you only need four for your family, you’ll speculate on the other two. And if you can get $5,000 for them, that covers the cost of the other four tickets you bought.”
For those desperate to return to Hogwarts, here’s how to get tickets.
- You can try your luck at the new batch of tickets being released at 11 a.m. Monday here.
- Play the Friday Forty lottery each Friday between midnight and 1 p.m. for a shot for up to two $20 and $40 tickets for each show the following week.
- Sign up for the newsletter to be alerted to when new batches of tickets go on sale. The next Ticketmaster Verified Fan promotion will happen later this summer, when those with verified Ticketmaster accounts will be entered into a drawing to get a code to buy tickets.
This story was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated with “Cursed Child’s” opening box office numbers.
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