The Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is struggling to sell tickets in its second season in New York City. Some three years after Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first opened in London's West End, Harry Potter fans have yet to find any shortage of opportunities for returning to their beloved Potterverse. That includes the stage adaptation, which follows a new generation of Hogwarts troublemakers.
Though the end of the 8-part film franchise in 2011 was an inevitable but bittersweet moment for fans, only five years passed before new adventures began. In 2016 there was a veritable explosion of Potter-related entertainment, with the arrival of the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film as well as the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a stage production which takes place 19 years after the events portrayed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. On top of that, a Harry Potter-themed theme park opened in Orlando, giving fans the chance to visit Hogwarts in person. Cursed Child has a particular appeal to many fans, however, as it gives them the opportunity to see a grown-up Harry, Ron, and Hermione as well as the families that they built. The play was an immediate success and continues to be a major draw in London’s theatre district. In 2018 the production crossed the pond to Broadway, much to the delight of American Potter fans.
Despite the play's initial success, the U.S. run of Cursed Child has failed to measure up to its British counterpart, and according to The New York Times, the show is struggling with a definite sophomore slump. Since kicking off in 2018, The Cursed Child has seen its box office returns steadily decline, to the point where ticket prices have now dropped 47 percent from the same time last year. That’s definitely problematic for the play’s producers, who invested more than yet at the same time, it’s not necessarily bad news for Potter fans who want to see the two-part play but can’t afford what has traditionally been a substantial ticket price.
At present, Cursed Child also has productions running in San Francisco as well as Melbourne, Australia - neither of which seem to be experiencing similar woes as the New York City production. Yet it is worth pointing out that although Cursed Child’s box office numbers continue to decline, it’s not the only Broadway production experiencing subpar ticket sales right now. Overall theatre grosses are down 7 percent from what they were at this time last year, with sales for other large scale, typically popular productions like Frozen and Mean Girls down as well. The Cursed Child producers aren’t worried by the drop in ticket sales due to the coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, which are sure to bring in more tourists.
Arguably one of the biggest roadblocks for the play has been the fact that it’s split into two parts, with audiences having to return again to the theatre at a later date to see the second half. This combined with what has, in the past at least, been rather costly ticket prices, has kept some potential customers away. Whether the decline in ticket sales continues remains to be seen, but for now at least, this is the perfect opportunity for Potter fans to take their chance at seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. It may not be the installment that fans have long hoped for, but it definitely does have its own special place in the beloved franchise.
Source: The New York Times