EXCLUSIVE: Maybe Frozen isn’t critic-proof after all.
Following mixed reviews and turmoil in the secondary market, Disney has cut some ticket prices for the musical — one of the most highly anticipated of the season.
The best orchestra seats for Tuesday and Thursday of this week were originally $227.50, according to a February group sales memo from Disney. As of Monday afternoon, Ticketmaster was offering three tickets 11th-row center at the St. James for Tuesday for $100 less — $127.50 each — plus fees. Other center orchestra for both nights near the stage are $169.50. Balcony seats that were $99.50 are now $79.50.
The price cuts are primarily for seats unsold days before a performance. Tomorrow, the show is likely to get a Tony Award nomination for score, by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. There’s more suspense in the best musical category.
Critics praised the two leads, Caissie Levy and Patti Murin, but Jesse Green in the New York Times called it a “sometimes rousing, often dull, alternately dopey and anguished Disney musical;” Sara Holdren in New York magazine cited a “general feeling of padding” and Charles Isherwood in Broadway News found it “disappointingly workmanlike.”
Disney spokesman Dennis Crowley declined to comment for this story.
While welcome news for theatergoers seeking tickets, price cuts aren’t a plus for those who previously paid more. And as Marc Hershberg reported in Forbes, brokers have taken a bath on the show. Average resale prices tumbled 26 percent since the opening to $149, a spokesman for SeatGeek, a ticketing search engine, told Broadway Journal.
We’ve heard about parents not wanting to spend any more on the title after multiple viewings of the four-and-a-half-year-old animated movie. Frozen fatigue may also affect girls who loved the movie but now, as preteens and teenagers, are more interested in the relative sophistication of Tina Fey’s Mean Girls, which is set in high school.
Nonetheless, last week, it was Broadway’s fourth-highest-grossing show, at $1.7 million, after Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It had a record pre-opening advance, of $63 million for 12 months of sales. Even if weekly sales fall dramatically in the fall, Disney, with a market capitalization of $150 billion, has more leeway to run it than the single-purpose limited liability companies that present most musicals.
Tickets are more expensive and less plentiful in coming months. The show may be Frozen, but demand appears to heat up over the summer, with kids out of school.