The costumes, the music, the scenery—if you’ve ever been to a Broadway show, then you may already be familiar with just how larger-than-life some of them can be. However, these incredible productions come with a hefty price tag. It’s not unheard of for a Broadway show to have a budget that creeps into the low double-digit millions, but some still go well above that. From one audience favorite that cost tens of millions of dollars to make possible to one phenomenal hit musical that now has earned over a billion dollars globally, here are 7 of the most expensive Broadway shows ever produced.
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark - $75 Million
Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, which premiered on Broadway in 2011, reportedly had an eye-watering $75 million budget. Even though it didn’t receive many positive reviews when it first opened, it still was a great success—it brought in over $2.9 million in ticket sales in just one week at one point in its run. The extravagant show, which had music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge, eventually closed in 2014.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: $68 Million
Although not technically a musical, a lot of dough still went into bringing Broadway’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to life. However, it all paid off—besides countless theatergoers getting to experience the show, likely paying back the huge budget and then some, the play also received many Tony Award nominations and brought home the award for best play in 2018.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical: $28 Million
Moulin Rouge!, which opened at Broadway’s Alan Hirschfeld Theater in 2019, had a staggeringly high initial budget of $28 million. Based on the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film, the musical was first staged in Boston.
Shrek, The Musical: $24 Million
Shrek, The Musical’s intricately-designed sets and larger-than-life musical numbers weren’t cheap to create. According to reports, the Broadway show had a $24 million budget.
Matilda: $16 Million
Matilda, which you may remember is also a book by Roald Dahl and a film starring Mara Wilson, Rhea Perlman, and Danny DeVito, was made into a Broadway musical in 2013. The show, nominated for 12 Tony awards, cost around $16 million to put on. The musical was such a hit that it was adapted into a well received Netflix film in 2022.
Wicked: $14 Million
It took over $14 million to make Wicked, one of the buzziest musicals of recent years, a reality. The show, whose original Broadway cast starred big names like Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, made back its entire initial investment during its very first year.
Hamilton: $12.5 Million
There’s really nothing quite like Hamilton (remember how hard it was to get tickets in the beginning?) The top-rated Broadway show, which was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, had a sky-high budget of $12.5 million. However, it all paid off—according to Forbes, as of 2020, Hamilton surpassed $1 billion in global sales.
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